Need to Know

Including WTE, Two Florida Counties Reach 82% Recycling Rate

Florida's definition of recycling includes credit for use of waste-to-energy plants.

Two counties in the Tampa Bay area of Florida are leading the way as the state pushes to reach a 75 percent recycling goal by 2020.

Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have each achieved a rate of 82 percent, at least in terms of how Florida defines recycling, which, unlike some other states, includes credits for the use of waste-to-energy facilities.

Both counties have waste-to-energy facilities that means less trash ends up in landfills. Excluding WTE, both counties’ recycling rates is closer to 50 percent.

The Brandon Patch has more:

FDEP tracks progress made by counties across the state on an annual basis. The agency includes a number of factors as credits when establishing a county’s overall recycling rate. Credits, for example, come from “waste-to-energy facilities that burn garbage to produce renewable energy,” Hillsborough officials explained. Both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties own and use their own waste-to-energy facilities that help cut down on the amount of trash that ends up in their landfills.

Other counties across the region have also made great strides toward meeting the goal, FDEP’s website says. Pasco and Sarasota are both tied with recycling rates of 66 percent. Other counties in the region, however, are lagging behind a bit. A county-by-county breakdown of credits can be viewed on the state's website.

Read the full story here.

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