During Florida Recycles Day at the Capitol in at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Originally Published on November 15, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection today presented Recycling Recognition awards to two organizations in Central Florida, recognizing their outstanding reuse efforts and commitment to Florida’s environment and recycling goals. The awards were presented by DEP’s Division of Waste Management Director Joe Ullo at the Florida Capitol during the Florida Recycles Day celebration.

“The department is pleased to join the Florida Recycling Partnership to celebrate the importance of recycling and recognize the organizations and industries that are helping Florida’s work toward improving our recycling rates,” said Director Joe Ullo. “We’re also honored to present Recycling Recognition Awards to three organizations that have displayed an outstanding commitment to decreasing waste, increasing recycling and protecting Florida’s environment.”

Rehrig Pacific Company and Orange County Public Schools recognized for recycling efforts

Originally published on

Orange County Public Schools and Rehrig Pacific Company were recognized for their recycling efforts and commitment to Florida’s environment. Both organizations actively recycled more than 95 percent of their total solid waste in 2016 through various innovative practices. Orange County Public Schools implemented a surplus program and Facebook page that encourage reuse of materials. The school system has achieved a recycling rate of 98.35 percent, including reuse of furniture, appliances and buses. Rehrig Pacific has a recycling rate of 96.67 percent, which includes more than 285,000 pounds of reused plastic containers. Aside from recycling more than 27,000 gallons of oil/water mix, the company has improved processes to reduce oil leaks and minimize scraps. Florida Recycles Day celebrates the statewide determination of businesses and residents to ensure recycling is a top priority throughout daily life. Hosted by Florida Recycling Partnership, stakeholders such as Recycle Florida Today, Keep Florida Beautiful and the Southern Waste Information Exchange were in attendance, in addition to representatives from Publix and the Florida Beverage Association. A collaborative statewide recycling education campaign, Rethink. Reset. Recycle., was also announced at the celebration. The campaign is a joint effort between DEP, the Florida Recycling Partnership, Waste Management, MARPAN, Waste Connections, Single Stream Recyclers, LLC, and several statewide recycling coordinators to decrease recycling contamination and encourage proper curbside recycling techniques. In 2016, Florida recycled 13.8 million tons of municipal solid waste, helping to increase the statewide overall recycling rate to 56 percent. Additionally, the recycling rate has increased from 30 percent in 2011. In order for Florida to reach 75 percent by 2020, a goal established by the Florida Legislature in 2008, the department is urging all sectors, especially the commercial sector, to actively increase recycling efforts.