FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2008
CONTACT: Marguerite Jordan , (850) 245-2112 or (850) 528-8206 (cell)
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE & RETHINK
-DEP encourages Floridians to rethink habits as part of America Recycles Day Celebration -
TALLAHASSEE – Celebrating November 15, 2008 as America Recycles Day, Governor Charlie Crist recently signed a proclamation, encouraging citizens to rethink habits and increase recycling at home, school and work as well as purchase products made of recycled materials. America Recycles Day serves as a good reminder of the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling all year and encourages people to be a part of creating a better natural environment.
"Floridians must be active partners with government and the private sector in reducing waste by reusing, recycling, composting and buying recycled products," said Mary Jean Yon, Director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Waste Management. "America Recycles Day reminds us all to be good environmental stewards of our nation's limited resources."
One unique feature of America Recycles Day is the opportunity for people to sign a personal pledge to recycle. For the fifth consecutive year, DEP along Recycle Florida Today, Creative Recycling Systems, Inc. and Publix Super Markets are sponsoring the Florida (K-12) Schools Recycling Pledge Card Contest. The three schools that submit the most recycling pledge cards will be awarded with a refurbished computer. Last year, a DEP survey found that more than 86 percent of the 14,000 Floridians who took the pledge to recycle and buy more recycled products through this campaign were elementary, middle and high school students.
In 2006, Florida recycled about 24 percent of the municipal solid waste collected. By improving recycling habits Florida 's residents and businesses can protect the environment, preserve natural resources, and contribute to the economic well-being and security of our nation.
When companies make new products out of recycled materials, it reduces water and energy usage, for example:
· Recycled paper supplies more than 37 percent of the raw materials used to make new paper products in the U.S.
· Recycling also saves energy. It takes 95 percent less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make it from raw materials. Making recycled steel reduces energy consumption by 60 percent while making recycled plastics reduces energy by 70 percent.
Certain plastics are some of the most common items to be recycled. DEP encourages everyone to get to know the recycling numbers at the bottom of containers and packages found within the "chasing arrows". The numbering system groups plastics into seven general categories. Of the seven, 1 and 2 are the most commonly recycled because they have the largest market for reprocessing into new materials, whereas numbers 3-7 are more difficult for manufacturers to recycle. Below is a guide to follow:
Polymer Name & Abbreviation
PETE or PET
Used for most clear beverage, food bottles and containers.
Recycled into polyester fibers, thermo-formed sheeting, strapping, soft drink bottles.
High Density Polyethylene
Used for milk jugs as well as beverage and food bottles and containers; dish and laundry detergent bottles; and grocery, trash and retail bags.
Recycled into various bottles, grocery bags, recycling bins, agricultural pipe, playground equipment and plastic lumber.
PVC or V
Used for packaging.
Recycled into pipe, fencing and non-food bottles.
Low Density Polyethylene
Used in dry cleaning, bread and frozen food bags, compact disc jackets and squeezable bottles.
Recycled into plastic bags, various containers, dispensing bottles, wash bottles and tubing.
Used in rigid food, medicine containers and bottles.
Recycled into auto parts and industrial fibers.
Used in cups, plates, cutlery, packaging peanuts, egg cartons, meat and bakery trays, and take-out containers. Polystyrene is also known as Styrofoam.
Extruded polystyrene and expanded foam is not recyclable.
Used in reusable water bottles and beverage and food bottles.
Corn and organic-based plastics called PLA (Polylactic Acid) are not recyclable. Some #7s are recyclable.
To increase recycling throughout Florida , this summer Governor Crist signed the Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008 into law which establishes a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020. Within the law DEP is directed to develop a program to achieve the goal and submit it to the Florida Legislature for consideration by January 1, 2010. For more information on the new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent, and to share your comments on ways to achieve this goal visit DEP's web-based forum, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/recyclinggoal75/.
Each community has different recycling guidelines, to learn about recycling in your county or city please contact your local recycling coordinator by visiting:
For more information on America Recycles Day 2008 and events, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/recycling/AR/2008/ar08.htm.