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Florida Falling Short Of Recycling Goal By More Than A Quarter

Jessica Palombo

Florida Recycle Today, a recycling association, will soon hold its annual conference and exhibition for environmental industry professionals.

Florida Recycle Today provides a public forum for education and discussion concerning new recycling initiatives. During an appearance on WJCT's First Coast Connect, Florida Recycle Today Executive Director Heather Armstrong discussed some of the ways businesses can adapt so their practices are more sustainable.

“There are startup costs to anything, but with recycling you can save,” Armstrong said. “If you make the initial effort and the initial investment within your program, you will find that over time you will actually save yourself money.”

The Florida Legislature passed a law in 2008 establishing a statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be reached by the year 2020. With only five years left to reach the goal, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, or FDEP, reports the state recycling rate is just 49 percent. 

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. 

Florida Recycle Today’s conference will be held June 7-9 in Daytona Beach Shores.

Listen to the full conversation with Heather Armstrong on Wednesday's First Coast Connect podcast on iTunes.