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Need to Know

Florida Falling Short Of Ambitious Recycling Goal

Florida's legislature passed a law in 2008 setting a lofty goal for the state to achieve a recycling rate of 75 percent. However, the latest data is that the state's rate sits a 49 percent with just five years left to meet the ambitious mark. 

WJCT News has more in its preview for an upcoming recycling conference:

But Armstrong says there's a solution: “It all goes back to educating, getting individuals that may not be participating in [recycling] to do so. We want to encourage those to reach out to the FDEP or reach out to their local municipalities to find out what they can do to increase their efforts.”

According to a 2013 FDEP report, Duval County has the highest recycling rate among First Coast counties: 49 percent. The county is also has the highest population of the five in the region. 

Despite the best intentions, the issue may not be implementation, but the goal itself. This is something NWRA's Chaz Miller has consistently argued in writings and presentations. For example, he wrote this for Waste360 in March:

Two states show the potential pitfalls of setting high goals. Florida, the first state to set a 75 percent goal, includes waste to energy in its definition of recycling. Waste to energy is a valuable technology for managing waste, but it is one and done. It is not recycling. In addition, the law originally allowed some odd accounting methods that lead to a few counties claiming a recycling rate higher than 100 percent. The lesson: Perhaps aggressive recycling rates lead to aggressive recycling reporting.

For the whole column, go here.

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