In conjunction with its statewide legislative meetings and Florida Recycles Day, the Florida Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) honored six legislators as “Champions” for their support of the Florida waste and recycling industry.
“NWRA congratulates these lawmakers and thanks them for their support of the waste and recycling industry. It takes partners like these men and women to ensure a vibrant industry and protect the environment,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith in a statement.
Senator Keith Perry (R-Gainesville) and Representative Bobby Payne (R-Palatka) were recognized for filing legislation that would make it clear that local governments consider the certain issues such as strategies, remedies and education in their contract negotiations with a residential recycling collector or a materials recovery facility in an effort to reduce contaminated recyclable material (items that are non-recyclable curbside).
The goal of the legislation was to improve and increase recycling in Florida. Solid waste and non-recyclable material in recycling bins creates contaminated recyclable materials and hinders recycling efforts.
Senator Doug Broxson (R-Pensacola), Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Representative Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) were recognized for their work to extend the exemption for sales tax on natural gas from 2019 to 2024. By having this sales tax exemption, more natural gas vehicles are being used and Floridians’ access to fueling facilities has improved.
Natural gas motor fuels are abundant, domestically produced and environmentally friendly motor fuels. The recent voluminous American natural gas recoveries have allowed for these sources of fuel that will allow Florida and the United States to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. With developing air regulations and citizen concerns for air emissions, natural gas motor fuels have proven to produce fewer emissions than traditional motor fuels and will provide a clean air avenue for motor vehicles within Florida.
Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez (R-Miami) is being honored for her work on the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness. The Select Committee agreed that the solid waste industry needs to work in harmony with local governments and state officials during emergency/hurricane situations. Some of the NWRA Florida Chapter recommendations include:
- Determine an appropriate time to stop collection in order to get our employees off the street so they can prepare for the storm and make sure materials in trucks have time to dispose of items and landfills have time to process materials.
- Employees on streets during curfews—create a way for law enforcement to recognize our workers as “second responders” with special signage; making sure they are in uniform with safety vest.
- Work with local governments on standard message … do not trim trees prior to storm as they become dangerous projectiles.