A Win-Win for the Environment and theEconomy: A History of and Update onRecycling in Florida and the U.S.Florida Keys GLEEGreen Living ExpoMay 10, 2008By Phil BreseeChair, Recycle Florida Today, Inc. http://www.recyclefloridatoday.org/
About Recycle Florida Today, Inc. (RFT) Non-profit 501(c)(6) organization founded in 1991. RFT promotes resource conservation and environmental stewardship in Florida through sustainable waste prevention, reuse, recycling, composting and legislative advocacy (includes support for Recycling Innovative Grants Programs and the Recycling Grants to small Florida counties). Current membership of 325+ includes: Local and state government. Businesses and industry (recycling processors, end-users, consultants, firms with commitment to environmental issues, etc.). Institutions such as colleges and universities. Non-profit organizations. Annual conference and annual winter issues forum.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Generationand Management in the United States M SW M anagement in US - 2005 MSW = Regular household and commercial garbage. Does not include industrial wastes, mining 32% wastes, medical wastes, etc. US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates that 245.7 million tons of MSW were 54% generated in 2005. MSW managed through: Landfilling = 133.3 million tons. Combustion / Waste to Energy = 14% 33.4 million tons. Landfilling Combust/WTE Recycling Recycling / Recovery = 79 million tons.
MSW Generation and Management inFlorida - 2005 M SW M anagement in Florida - 2005 Florida generated 36.7 million tons of MSW in 25% 2005. MSW managed through: Landfilling = 23.7 million tons. Recycling / Recovery = 9.211% 64% million tons. Combustion / WTE = 3.8 million tons. Landfilling Combust/WTE RecyclingSource: Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection
MSW Generation and Management inSouth Florida - 2005 MSW Management in S. Florida - 2005 MSW Management in S. Florida - 2005 20%100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30% 19% 61%20%10% 0% Miami-Dade Broward Monroe Landfilling Combust/WTE Recycling Landfilled Combusted Recycled Sources: Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection S. Florida MSW generation total of nearly 8.2 million tons in 2005 – up 22% from 2001. Amount of MSW recycled decreased from 22% to 20%.
MSW Generation Trends in Florida andSouth Florida Florida MSW Generation vs. S. Florida MSW Generation vs. Population Growth: 2001-2005 Population Growth: 2001-2005 40,000,000 9,000,000 35,000,000 8,000,000 30,000,000 7,000,000 25,000,000 6,000,000 20,000,000 5,000,000 4,000,000 15,000,000 3,000,000 10,000,000 2,000,000 5,000,000 1,000,000 0 0 01 02 03 4 5 01 02 03 04 05 0 0 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 MSW Generation Population MSW Generation Population Data Source: Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection.MSW per capita generation rates rose 20% statewide and 16% in SouthFlorida from 2001-2005.
MSW Generation Trends in Florida andSouth Florida What’s behind the recent increases in MSW generation? Florida’s MSW reporting methodology. Construction and demolition debris, or “C & D”, is major component - and less frequently recycled - of Florida and S. Florida’s MSW stream (many states do not count C & D as solid waste). Hyper-active hurricane seasons in 2004-05. It’s the economy, stupid. MSW generation trends frequently mirror overall economic trends. Manufactured wastes and packaging represent 75% of total MSW. C & D increased as part of State’s building boom in early to mid 2000’s (up 87% in S. Florida from 2001-2005). Tourism-driven economy.
How Should MSW be Managed? US EPA developed solid waste management hierarchy. Source, or waste reduction means minimizing or not creating waste in the first place. Source reduction can be accomplished through: Manufacturing efficiencies and improved product design. Less product packaging. Less product toxicity. Using reusable products vs. disposable products. Recycling is preferred way to manage materials once they have served their purpose. Illustration courtesy of US EPA.
What are Recycling’s Benefits?Environmental Benefits: Economic Benefits: Conservation of natural Recycling can be a more cost- resources including, timber, effective way to handle many water, petroleum, mineral ores. solid wastes. Reduced energy consumption. Is value-added, creating jobs Recycling prevents pollution and providing raw materials caused by manufacturing from for industry. virgin resources. Reduces our reliance on waste to energy facilities and landfills.
Environmental Benefits of Recycling & Waste ReductionGreenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted during raw materials’ life-cycles, which include extraction, manufacturing and disposal. Recycling and waste reduction can be effective tools for reducing GHG by: Reducing / eliminating emissions from raw materials extraction. Reducing emissions from energy consumption during manufacturing. Reducing emissions from incinerators and WTE plants. Reducing methane emissions from landfills. Increases carbon sequestration (paper recycling). Illustration courtesy of US EPA
Environmental Benefits of Recycling & Waste Reduction (cont.) EPA has developed modeling that Recycling 500 = GHG Equal to allows communities to calculate GHG Tons Of… Reduction Of… Removing # of Cars from Road reduction benefits of recycling. for 1 Year Based on Nationwide recycling rate Paper 339 MTCE 259 cars of 32% of MSW in 2005, estimated benefits were: Avoided GHG emissions of 183 Aluminum 2,055 MTCE 1,569 cars million metric tons of CO2e which is equivalent to emissions from: Glass 38 MTCE 29 cars 930,000 railcars of coal burned, or Annual electricity usage by about 23.5 million households. HDPE 192 MTCE 147 cars Energy conservation benefits equal to: Removing 17 million cars from the road for 1 year. Corrugated 354 MTCE 270 cars Saving the use of 240 million barrels of oil. cardboard Sources: US EPA; B. Dorn, RW Beck Source: US EPA WasteWise Update, Global Warming is a Waste!
Economic Benefits of Recycling According to 2001 economic study by US EPA and National Recycling Coalition, US recycling and reuse industry accounted for: $236 billion in annual revenues. 56,000+ recycling & reuse establishments. Employment of 1.1 million with annual payroll of $37 billion. Similar study conducted for Florida determined: $4.4 billion in annual revenues. 3,700 recycling and reuse establishments. Employment base of 32,000 with payroll ofIllustration courtesy of US EPA. $765 million. Recyclables are commodities and end- markets for them are at an all-time high.
Economic Benefits of Recycling (cont.) Recycling can also be most cost-effective way to manage many wastes. Corporate retail giants like Target have long since recognized value of recycling. According to Target, revenues from sale of cardboard recycled through their stores exceeds the costs of managing their solid waste. Broward County Public Schools saves $830,000 per year through recycling through avoided disposal costs. Broward County has averaged more than $5 million annually in recycling rebates back to partner cities during the past few years.
A Brief History of Recycling in Florida Solid Waste Management Act of Act amended several times since 1988 established that all counties initial passage: reduce MSW stream (by weight) In 1996 30% goal amended to by 30% by 1994. apply only to counties over Act also established “minimum 4” 75,000. 50% recycling goal for: Innovative Grants established Aluminum cans in 1997 (replaced R&E Glass bottles Grants); annual totals range from $750K to $4.1 million - Plastic bottles Legislature makes decisions. Newspaper Goals modified in 2002 including Recycling & Education Grants “significant portion” of any 4 funded through SWM Trust Fund materials including aluminum $15-20 million annually cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, distributed to all counties newspaper, steel cans, cardboard, based on population. office paper & yard trash. Requires counties must report 30% goal applies to counties with MSW and recycling information more than 100,000. to FDEP on annual basis.
History of Recycling in Florida (cont.) Florida was early leader in recycling with dedicated funding established by 1988 SWMA. By 2001 Florida’s Dept. of Environmental Protection estimated that curbside recycling programs were available to 75% of State’s single- family homes. DEP also estimated that about 70% of State’s multi-family properties had access to on-site recycling services. Recycling drop-off sites offered in many smaller / rural counties. Florida one of pioneering states in establishing electronics recycling programs. Many Florida schools and institutions developed recycling programs.
History of Recycling in Florida:What Happened? As statistics illustrate, overall MSW generation is up, MSW disposal is up, and recycling has either plateaued or decreased in Florida. In many instances, recycling fell off of collective radar screens of policy makers, local governments, media and citizens.
Future of Recycling: It’s Bright! Driven in part by increasing focus on global climate change Bills Addressing and soaring energy prices, the “Recycling” future is bright for recycling. Session Senate House Recycling has become a recognized tool in battle to reduce emissions. 2008 18 13 Governor’s 2007 Executive Orders. 2007 15 10 Increased Legislative activity, including HB 7135 (Energy 2006 7 9 Bill) establishes 75% waste reduction goal by 2020.
Future of Recycling (cont.) Recycling life-cycle studies are Map of cities who have signed on to US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (852 as of 5/6/2008): key part of US Senate’s Climate Security Act (Carper Amendment). U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement identifies recycling as action signatories should take. U.S. communities beginning to identify – and quantify - recycling and waste reduction activities as part of their GHG reduction strategies. Seventy- two Florida cities have signed, including all local governments in Monroe County.
Future of Recycling (cont.) Approaches to solid waste and recycling once considered new-age now going conventional: Single-stream recycling Pay-as-You-Throw Zero-Waste goals. Solid waste management is no longer just downstream materials management of a liability…
Conclusions Recycling is a demonstrated environmental protection success story with environmental and economic benefits. Is a “low-hanging fruit” for cities and counties to use to help reduce their carbon footprints. Many environmental goals can seem abstract. However, recycling allows for hands-on and visible opportunity for citizens and businesses to help their environment. Recycling is also seen as a “gateway” to other positive environmental behaviors.