Florida has always been an aggressive state, and it’s no different when it comes to its recycling goal. It aims to reach a recycling rate of 75 percent by 2020.
Residential curbside recycling is the norm in Florida. However, over 60 percent of the waste stream is generated by the commercial sector. Some companies realized that if the commercial sector didn’t do a better job of recycling, Florida will never be able to reach the 75 percent recycling rate. So they decided to do something about it.
Last October, the Florida Recycling Partnership (FRP) was reenergized. The partnership is a coalition of businesses and associations dedicated to improving Florida’s recycling rates. Our members are proactively implementing initiatives in their organizations and companies to reduce the waste they produce and increase recycled materials. Additionally our members are working to create greater recycling opportunities for consumers.
The mission of FRP is to educate policy makers at the state and local level as well as the general public on the benefits of recycling. The educational aspect will focus specifically on recycling and will be done through newsletters, social media, special events and conferences.
Last November, we took advantage of the Florida Legislature holding interim committee meetings in the State Capitol and held our first event, Florida Recycles Day. We had 20 different company, associations and non-profit organization participate with displays in the Capitol. In addition, we were honored to have the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard participate and present a Recycling Recognition Award to Florida State University.
So far we have created and distributed three newsletters and a video highlighting what different companies are doing to increase recycling rates.
Members of our board of directors gave a presentation to the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee about recycling efforts. Our goal was to spur the conversation about recycling especially since the legislature hasn’t talk about it since 2010.
And we are just getting started. The FRP members represent a variety of top 100 Florida companies and associations and we are working on increasing our membership. Look for us at upcoming conferences this summer, and we are already working on the next Florida Recycles Day.
The efforts have not gone unnoticed. Recycle Florida Today recently launched a new awards program to recognize excellence in the industry. The Recycle Florida Today Environmental Sustainability Awards were announced in early June at an annual conference held in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla. There, the Florida Recycling Partnership won the inaugural award for Non-Profit/Public Recycling Program for their work in promoting recycling.
We know the Florida Recycling Partnership can make a difference by filling a void in our state. No other group has businesses working with other businesses to increase recycling rates and spreading the word about the importance of recycling.
Keyna Cory is the executive director of the Florida Recycling Partnership in Tallahassee, Fla. To learn more about the Florida Recycling Partnership, go to www.flrecycling.org. Keyna Cory can be reached at 850.728.1054 or via email at [email protected]