Waste Management Starts Organics Recycling Unit in Florida

Allan Gerlat, News Editor

November 16, 2011

1 Min Read
Waste Management Starts Organics Recycling Unit in Florida

Waste Management Inc. has launched an organics recycling facility in Okeechobee, Fla., in partnership with the Publix Super Markets Inc. grocery food chain.

The Houston-based solid waste company said the new eight-acre facility, adjacent to its landfill, is permitted to accept up to 30,000 tons per year, half from food waste and half from yard waste. The company said in a news release the move is part of its strategy to expand organics recycling in Florida and throughout North America. 

The Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix will provide pre-consumer food waste, including produce, bakery and floral items. The facility also will take in yard waste and process all the material into organic compost products.

Waste Management will collect and transport the organic material from 40 Publix stores in Miami-Dade County and two Publix GreenWise Markets in Palm Beach County in the first phase of the program.  Over the coming months, Publix plans to add additional stores in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to the program.

 The Okeechobee facility utilizes a forced aeration system with computer controls to regulate airflow and air treatment.

Garick, a subsidiary of Waste Management and producer of organic lawn and garden goods, will make those products from the composting facility materials.

“As the nation’s largest environmental solutions provider, our customers are asking us to help them meet their sustainability goals,” said Tim Hawkins, area vice president for Waste Management.  “We’re very pleased to partner with Publix on the first dedicated organics composting site in South Florida to serve their needs.”

"Our partnership with Waste Management presents an opportunity in fulfilling our mission to be intolerant of waste by diverting food waste that would typically be sent to local landfills,” said Kim Jaeger, Publix's Miami media and community relations manager.

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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