Florida Department ofEnvironmental ProtectionMarjory Stoneman Douglas Building3900 Commonwealth BoulevardTallahassee. Florida 32399 3000Charlie CristGovernorleff KottkampU. GovernorMichael W. SoleSecretaryJanuary 4, 2010The Honorable Charlie CristGovernor of FloridaPlaza Level OS, The Capitol400 South Monroe StreetTallahassee, Florida 32399-0001The Honorable Jeff AtwaterPresident, The Florida SenateRoom 312, Senate Office Building404 South Monroe StreetTallahassee, Florida 32399-1100The Honorable Larry CretulSpeaker, The Florida House of Representatives420 The Capitol402 South Monroe StreetTallahassee, Florida 32399-1300Dear Governor Crist, President Atwater and Speaker Cretul:I am pleased to submit the 75% RecJjcling Goal Report to the Legislature as required insection 403.7032, Florida Statutes. The Energy, Climate Change and Economic SecurityAct of 2008 established a new statewide recycling goal of 75% by 2020. The Act directsthe Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to submit to the FloridaLegislature a comprehensive program to achieve this goal.The information and recommendations in the enclosed report were developed based onextensive research and the invaluable contributions of stakeholders who participated infour public workshops. An even wider range of ideas were submitted through DEP'sWeb forum and e-mails.Florida generates more than 32 million tons of municipal solid waste annually, almosttwo tons per resident per year. Today, more than two decades after the Legislaturepassed Florida's first 30% recycling goal, Floridians collectively recycle only 28% ofMorc ProtL'Clion. Less Process"www.dep.state./I.1I5

The Honorable Charlie CristThe Honorable Jeff AtwaterThe Honorable Larry CretulJanuary 4, 2010Page Twotheir solid waste. This report explores ways to change that troublesome fact in aneconomically responsible way through heightened public awareness, state leadership,development and expansion of recycling markets, and more investments throughoutthe local government and commercial sectors.Today's economic climate presents a challenge. Hence, the-report outlines initial stepslow in financial impact but high in recycling value. The recycling goal can be achieved.It will require partnerships among state government, local governments, tradeorganizations, schools, businesses and industries, and all Floridians. This reportoutlines opportunities and actions available to achieve the goal, and I look forward toworking with you as you consider them.If you have questions regarding this report, please contact Mary Jean Yon, Director ofDEP's Division of Waste Management, at (850) 245-8693 or [email protected],w ASecretaryEnclosurecc:The Honorable Lee Constantine, Chair, Senate Environmental PreservationCommitteeThe Honorable Trudi Williams, Chair, House Agriculture and Natural ResourcesCommitteeMimi Drew, Deputy Secretary, Regulatory Programs, DEPCameron Cooper, Director, Office of Legislative Affairs, DEPMary Jean Yon, Director, Division of Waste Management, DEP

75% Recycling GoalReport to the LegislatureFlorida Department of Environmental ProtectionJanuary 4, 20102600 Blair Stone RoadMS 4500Tallahassee, Florida

Table of ContentsExecutive Summary . 3Acknowledgments . 5Introduction . 6Florida’s Recycling History . 6Where Do We Start?. 7The Role of Education . 9Ways to Better Handle Waste. 11Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris . 12Organic Waste . 13Waste-to-Energy (WTE) . 14Commercial Recycling . 14Innovative Recycling Programs . 17Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) . 17RecycleBank . 18Zero Waste Zones . 18Single Stream Recycling (SSR) . 19Recycling Markets . 19How Do We Get There? . 20Recommendations. 20The Long and Short of the 75% Recycling Goal . 23APPENDICES & FIGURES . 24Appendix A - Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act of 2008 . 25Appendix B - Revenue Sources . 26Appendix C - Supplemental Recommendations . 30Figure 1 – Tons of Municipal Solid Waste Collected in Florida Counties in 2007 . 33Figure 2 – Florida Municipal Solid Waste Collected in 2007 . 34Figure 3 - Florida Counties with Waste-to-Energy Facilities . 35Page 2 of 35

Executive SummaryThe municipal solid waste generated by 18 million Floridians and 80 million visitorsevery year—more than 32 million tons—is simply not environmentally sustainable.Floridians cannot continue to discard valuable commodities when there are higher andbetter uses for those items. The Florida Legislature recognized that fact and, throughthe Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act of 2008 established a newstatewide recycling goal—reduce the disposal of recyclables 75% by 2020. The lawdirects the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to submit to theLegislature a comprehensive program to achieve75% recycling by 2020.Today, more than two decadesAccomplishing the goal will require commitment,after the Legislature passedcommon sense and ingenuity. This report laysFlorida’s first recycling goal—out the facts and outlines recommendations and30%—Floridians collectivelyoptions that would make 75% by 2020 possible.recycle only 28% of their solidImplementing the recommendations and thewaste.other creative approaches they inevitably willstimulate requires action by DEP and other stateagencies; Florida’s businesses and industries,large and small; local governments; and residents—everyone. It will also demandmarket solutions, smart economic choices and sensible regulations.The information and recommendations in this report were developed based onextensive research and the invaluable contributions of stakeholders who participated infour public workshops. An even wider range of ideas informed the discussion throughDEP’s Web forum, which received nearly 12,000 visits and provided a healthy dose ofperspective.As noted, Florida generates more than 32 million tons of municipal solid wasteannually, closing in on two tons per resident per year. More than two decades after theLegislature passed Florida’s first recycling goal—30%—today Floridians collectivelyrecycle only 28% of their solid waste. This report explores ways to enhance recycling inan economically responsible way through heightened public awareness, stateleadership, development and expansion of recycling markets, and more bang-for-thebuck investments throughout the local government and commercial sectors.Today’s economic climate presents a challenge. Hence, this report includes costinformation where possible to assist the reader and outlines initial steps low in financialimpact but high in recycling value. That said, some actions are essential to achieving75% recycling in all places at all times. For example, more recycling of construction anddemolition (C&D) debris, which constitute 25% of all municipal solid waste, mustoccur. As much as 12% of the 2020 recycling goal could be met by processing C&DPage 3 of 35

debris at a 75% rate through materials recovery facilities, all at relatively low cost andwith an income source in recovered materials. Organics (food waste, yard trash andpaper) represent 40% of municipal solid waste and also must be recycled atdramatically higher rates to meet the 2020 goal. Although this will be challenging,some large retailers like Publix Super Markets are already recycling food waste.Recycling these materials yields quality paper to write on and products to improve soilconditions, control erosion and produce fuel while reducing energy and keepingharmful pathogens and nutrients out of the environment.The markets for goods made with recycled content must expand. As with all markets,some nurturing is essential, through public education, advertising, financial incentivesand disincentives, and carefully targeted regulation. Providing expert assistance torecycling start-ups and ongoing businesses, including helping develop networks withlocal governments and commercial operations, is also vital to comprehensive recycling.New revenue sources, such as tipping fees, must be considered. Ideas explored in moredetail in this report include Pay-As-You-Throw, RecycleBank, Zero Waste Zones, andSingle Stream Recycling.State government should lead by example, investingmore in recycling at every state office and university.While the net impact on overall recycling is small, themessage would be clear—recycling is possible, practicaland a priority. No one should be able to point out astate agency as justification for not recycling. At thesame time, local governments must step up. The largestamong them, especially, should each accept the 75%goal. Right now, Sarasota County’s recycling programenforces commercial recycling and requires Pay-AsYou-Throw, giving it both the highest commercial (53%)and overall (41%) recycling rates in Florida, a healthy start on 75% by 2020.The recycling goal can be achieved. It will require partnerships among stategovernment, local governments, trade organizations, schools, businesses and industries,and all bright, committed people with innovative ideas and practical solutions.Certainly, reducing waste is first and foremost—using fewer products with fewer wastematerials, fewer virgin materials, lower-impact materials, and more recycled products.But recycling goes hand in hand with waste reduction, reclaiming valuable materials forproductive uses, opening new markets and economic opportunities, freeing up landfillspace for truly unrecoverable wastes and reducing the need for more (highlyunpopular) landfills. Additionally, recycling provides potential sources of energy,conserves natural resources, and often requires less energy than the production ofvirgin materials. These are the potential benefits of 75% by 2020 and this report outlinesopportunities and actions available to achieve them.Page 4 of 35

AcknowledgmentsThe Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) extends its gratitude to themany stakeholders from the public and private sectors that invested their time andcontributed their insights to the development of this report through public meetings,written comments and electronic submissions.Four public meetings were held to exchange information and solicit input on achievingthe 75% recycling goal by 2020. These meetings generated lively discussion andvaluable information that helped produce this report.September 22, 2008 in Orlando - 129 attendeesDecember 2, 2008 in Tallahassee - 88 attendeesAugust 4, 2009 in Orlando – 225 attendeesNovember 5, 2009 in Tallahassee – 68 attendeesDEP also established a web-based forum for ongoing public comments and regularstakeholder updates. Meeting summaries, draft notes and other details, as well asaccess to the web-based forum, can be found t.htm. This site has been visitednearly 12,000 times.DEP also appreciates the professional associations and trade organizations thateffectively represented their members’ interests and were critical in identifyingrecycling options and recommendations:Associated Industries of FloridaFlorida Association of CountiesFlorida Beverage AssociationFlorida Chapter of the National Solid Wastes Management AssociationFlorida League of CitiesFlorida Recycling PartnershipFlorida Retail FederationFlorida Sunshine Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North AmericaHeart of Florida Working GroupRecycle Florida TodaySmall County CoalitionPage 5 of 35

IntroductionThe modern era of recycling in Florida beganwith the Florida Legislature’s passage of the SolidWaste Management Act (SWMA) of 1988,including a 30% recycling goal. Twenty yearslater, with a statewide recycling rate of only 28%,the Legislature reasserted the importance ofrecycling and established a new goal: 75% to beachieved by 2020. The Legislature directed theFlorida Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) to submit this report, includingrecommendations, for consideration by January 1,2010 (see Appendix A).In 2007, more than 32 million tonsof municipal solid waste wasgenerated in Florida. To visualizethis amount, imagine a four-lanehighway of solid waste three feetdeep extending from Tallahassee toSeattle, Washington—and back.In 2007, Floridians and their visitors generated more than 32 million tons of municipalsolid waste (Figure 1 pictured in Appendices and Figures). Imagine a four-lane highwayof solid waste three feet deep extending from Tallahassee to Seattle, Washington—andback. Over the past 15 years, Florida’s waste disposal into landfills has doubled: morethan 19 million tons buried in 2007. During this same period, recycling in Florida hashovered at 28%. Municipal solid waste contains a goldmine of materials that can berecycled, but Florida must change its behaviors and practices to achieve the 75%recycling goal by 2020.Florida’s Recycling HistoryIn 1988, the SWMA directed counties with populations greater than 50,000 (laterincreased to 100,000) to achieve 30% recycling for municipal solid waste (MSW).Smaller counties were exempt from the goal as long as they provided their residentswith an ―opportunity to recycle.‖ The SWMA has set and revised goals since that timefor specific materials groups, including aluminum cans, steel cans, newspaper, plasticbottles, cardboard, office paper and yard trash.The first ten years saw rapid growth in the state’s recycling rate, going from anestimated 4% to 28%. Florida’s progress roughly mirrored most other states that werealso establishing recycling goals during that period. Since 1998, the state’s recyclingrate has stagnated—again, mirroring the trends in most other states. The 28% recyclingrate in 2007 is based on the most recent available data and has almost certainlyremained stable since then. This translates to about nine million tons of MSW recycledeach year. Only 18 counties, or about half of the counties with a population greaterthan 100,000, exceed the 1988 county recycling goal of 30%.Page 6 of 35

Recycling is now considered, in most communities, another utility service provided toresidents by local government, far different from 20 years ago. Currently 287 ofFlorida’s 414 cities and 29 of the 67 counties provide curbside collection service. Thus,some 15 million of the state’s 18 million residents have the opportunity to recycle. Yetthe recycling dynamic has to be changed to move from the 28% plateau and accomplish75% recycling statewide.Where Do We Start?The first step is for state government to lead byexample. With approximately 170,000 employees,state government can have both a symbolic and asubstantive impact on recycling directly and, moresignificantly, on the development of markets forgoods made with recycled content.State law enacted in 1988 encouraged stateagencies to give preference to purchases thatinclude recycled content. The law also directedstate agencies to report those purchases annually to the Florida Department ofManagement Services (DMS) and DMS, in turn, to report to the Governor andLegislature. DMS suspended such reporting after 1999 but is now workingcooperatively with DEP to review the most cost-effective way to collect and report thisinformation once again.For the State of Florida to achieve the 75% recycling goal, it must have the capability tomanage and measure its progress. This annual report will be an important tool tomeasure the progress state agencies are making toward increasing their recycling ratesand helping to support recycling markets. Given Florida’s technological advances inprocurement programs such as My Florida Market Place (MFMP) and the FloridaAccounting Information Resource (FLAIR), the infrastructure is in place and only needsto be modified to report the required information. DMS has advised that MFMP andFLAIR could be modified at an estimated cost of 50,000 - 75,000 to capture over 16,000recycled content or green products.To record the government purchasing of materials with recycled content, DEPrecommends:Modify the purchasing infrastructure to report information needed to meet thestatutory requirement, including documenting the purchase of products from virginmaterials, recycled content, and any increases in the number of ―green‖ purchasesby state agencies.Upgrade existing systems to capture the information in a meaningful report formatto improve accountability.Page 7 of 35

Equally important, state employees should be able to recycle in all state office buildings.Existing law already requires state agencies to implement recycling programs.Unfortunately, with the exception of some state office buildings in Tallahassee, there isminimal data on how much recycling is happening, especially in the rest of the statewhere most state office buildings are located.The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA)issued a report to the Legislature in March 2002 stating that state government does apoor job recycling. However, state government has a higher potential for recyclingbecause agencies, universities and prisons use large quantities of paper and otherrecyclable products. Accordingly, the OPPAGA report indicates that state governmentrecycling has the potential to impact Florida's recycling rate. Despite the need toimprove substantially, there are recycling success stories in state government.In March 2008, DEP, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and DMS enteredinto a partnership to enhance recycling opportunities instate office buildings while providing employmentSUCCESSopportunities for APD residents of Sunland in Marianna.SPOTLIGHTThe project, initiated at DEP’s Bob Martinez Center inTallahassee, focused on items not currently being recycled under existing contracts.APD provided DEP with receptacles to collect plastic bottles and aluminum and tincans on each floor, and a mobile compartmentalized container outside the building at acost of about 5,000 to 8,000. DMS staff collects the recyclables and APD thentransports them to the Marianna facility about four times per year to get them marketready by sorting, shredding and bailing. DEP’s Division of Waste Management hasfurther expanded recycling by using the Sunland facility to shred and recycle alldocuments scanned into DEP’s electronic document management system at no cost.Since the inception of this partnership, the Bob Martinez Center staff has recycledapproximately two tons of plastic bottles and aluminum and tin cans, saving anestimated ten cubic yards of landfill space, or 430 in cost avoidance. Although it hasbeen successful at the Bob Martinez Center, funding limitations preclude expanding thepartnership to other state office buildings in the Tallahassee area at this time.If all the approximately 19,000 state-owned office buildings and university buildingsadopted a “one ton a year” goal, state government would not only lead by examplebut would provide about 1.5% toward the statewide 75% recycling goal.The 75% recycling goal is a general statewide goal that currently places no directresponsibility on any particular level of government or any other entity. Becauserecycling programs are implemented at the local level, local government plays an evenmore important role than state government in reaching 75% recycling.Page 8 of 35

The SWMA assigned waste management responsibilities to the counties in 1988. Sincethen, the counties, as well as many cities, have been active in recycling but confrontmany challenges, evidenced by the fact that the state recycling rate has fluctuatedbetween 24% and 28% since 1998.It is much more difficult to achieve high recycling rates in small counties than in largeones. In most instances, the small population density precludes cost effective use ofcurbside collection programs, leaving those counties to rely on citizens willing to drive,often several miles, to drop off their recyclables. Thus, the Legislature exempted smallcounties from having to reach the original 30% recycling goal.Regardless of size, recycling programs in Florida’s counties have struggled in the pastfor a number of reasons, including:Lack of public education and training for recycling;Little emphasis on organics (food, paper, yard trash) recycling and construction &demolition (C&D) recycling;Little emphasis on the broad commercial sector and multi-family units; andUnderutilization of incentive programs for the residential sector, such as Pay-AsYou-Throw (PAYT) and RecycleBank.Local governments have been helpful and informative stakeholders throughout thedevelopment of this report and they are crucial to success. Both the Florida Associationof Counties and the Florida League of Cities, along with several individual localgovernments, have expressed their willingness to invest in the costs of reaching the newgoal. However, they have advised that they cannot carry the entire cost and will needfinancial assistance for both capital and non-capital expenses. Currently there are twolimited grant programs for local government recycling programs, and one of them isstrictly for counties with a population under 100,000, which have relatively little impacton state recycling rates. To achieve 75% recycling by 2020, consideration will have to begiven to revamping and expanding financial assistance programs and finding otherways to inject capital into the system.Ideas for generating revenues are detailed in Appendix B.The Role of EducationReaching 75% recycling will also require increased education in Florida’s K-12 publicschools for the estimated 3.3 million students (2008). The Florida Department ofEducation (DOE) is required to educate K-12 students in recycling by developingcurriculum materials and resource guides for recycling awareness programs. Over theyears, curriculum such as the ―4Rs‖ (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover) and itsPage 9 of 35

replacement ―Solid Choices‖ have been developed but were not used by all schooldistricts, sometimes for lack of money. Curriculum is important but the best recyclinglesson involves students recycling at school, a message they will carry home.If Florida K-12 schools achieved a recycling rate of 75%, approximately 6% ofFlorida’s statewide goal could be achieved.Twenty-five counties responded to a survey conducted by DEP in November 2009 onrecycling practices in public schools. The survey found that 1,376 (or about 88%) of the1,569 schools have some form of recycling program in place. The cost for implementinga recycling program within each school will be dependent on the size of the school, itslocation, and the extent of recycling infrastructure available in the area. Theseprograms increase recycling and, more significantly, help promote a culture of recyclingand environmental stewardship in the students and their families.The following highlights three school districts and theSUCCESSrecycling success they have had. They are models for theSPOTLIGHTkinds of actions that other school districts can take.The District School Board of Pasco County has one of thelongest running and most successful recycling programs in Florida, recognized by ahost of awards. Typical of well run recycling programs, Pasco County’s programsaves money. For fiscal year 2008, the county earned 69,000 from the sale ofrecyclable materials with a landfill cost avoidance of 145,000.The Palm Beach County School District has a recycling program in the District’sEnvironmental Control Office with a full time staff person that has facilitatedrecycling in more than 30 local schools. The District also has an EnvironmentalPreferable Procurement Policy, Energy and Resource Conservation Policy and anIndoor Air Quality Policy. In addition, Palm Beach County developed a GreenSchool Recognition Program for public and private schools that encourage a cultureof sustainability.The Broward County School District also has a strong recycling program bypartnering with the School Board, County Commissioners and the County Recyclingand Contracts Administration Division. The program encompasses three majorelements: collection, education and tracking. Since itsinception in 1992, the recycling program has beenrecognized nationally as an innovative example ofexcellence.Existing school recycling programs generally address paper,aluminum cans and sometimes plastic bottles. Another areathat has the potential to increase overall school recyclinginvolves food wastes and composting.Page 10 of 35

Each student produces about 0.5 pounds of total waste per school day. Studiesdemonstrate that approximately 32% of this school waste stream is organic waste.Therefore a school of 1,000 students generates around 500 pounds of waste per day, ofwhich 160 pounds is organic waste. Assuming a statewide average of 200 school daysper year, about 32,000 lbs (16 tons) of organic waste is generated each year. Data fromthe Florida Department of Education shows that there are about 3.3 million students inover 3700 K-12 public schools in the state—1,926 elementary, 594 middle, 870 high, and341 combination schools. Those 3.3 million students generate almost 53,000 tons oforganic waste every year.Although not in widespread use, establishing composting units at these schools wouldprovide many benefits in addition to increasing the recycling rate. Assuming a 44/tonaverage tip fee, a school with 1,000 students would save approximately 704 per year intipping fees avoided. Additionally a school of 1,000 students would produce theequivalent of 1,280 (25-lb) bags of organic material or compost. This could be used tooffset the cost of grounds maintenance at the school or other county properties, as itwould provide a high quality soil amendment. It could also offset the cost for operationof a school greenhouse.The start-up costs are relatively minimal. There are several commercial duty compostunits available on the market. On the average, a unit capable of handling waste for aschool of 1,000 students would cost between 6,000 and 10,000. However compostunits can be built fairly inexpensively by some school shop staff. But the real value is ineducation. Composting on the school site provides an opportunity to teach the studentsabout the biological aspects of composting and the economic benefits of garbage beingput to use to save the school money.Ways to Better Handle WasteAs previously noted, 60% of Florida’sMSW is disposed of in landfills whileonly 28% is recycled. IncreasingFlorida’s recycling rate means thisdynamic must shift.There are a variety of better ways tomanage different waste streamsoutlined below, along with ideas forencouraging more recycling andwaste reduction. These are the areaswhere Florida can get the biggestreturn on its recycling investment—Page 11 of 35

progress here, sooner rather than later, is essential to reaching 75% recycling by 2020.Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris: Construction and demolition debris(C&D) consists of materials that are generated from residential and commercialbuilding, renovations and various types ofdemolition. C&D materials include wood,steel, glass, brick, concrete, asphalt,wallboard, rocks, soils, tree remains, trees andother vegetative matter. Only non-watersoluble and non-hazardous materials areconsidered C&D.Currently, Florida has 83 landfills and 75C&D disposal sites where C&D can bedisposed. Most C&D disposal sites areunlined and are not required to have dailycover like permitted landfills. Therefore, disposal at these facilities is cheaper but moreenvironmentally problematic. Costs increase in South Florida, where there are largepermitted C&D recycling operations.A large portion of C&D

goal. Right now, Sarasota County’s recycling program enforces commercial recycling and requires Pay-As-You-Throw, giving it both the highest commercial (53%) and overall (41%) recycling rates in Florida, a healthy start on 75% by 2020. The recycling goal