Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation and University of Florida Announce New Recycling Study Findings

This week, the Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation and the University of Florida announced the results of a study examining the environmental and business impacts of discontinued municipal recycling systems in Florida.

Among the report’s key findings are that discontinuation of recycling systems offered little cost savings for cities while significantly increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Instead, Florida municipalities should consider a market-based recycling system, which means targeting high-value recycling commodities, such as plastic bottles, jugs, and tubs; aluminum and steel cans; and newspaper and cardboard to generate savings and mitigate the impact of waste on the environment.

The study was conducted over a five-month period to measure the impact of discontinued recycling programs on Florida municipal budgets and waste management-based greenhouse gas emissions. It also evaluated the influence of recycling commodity prices on Florida’s recycling system and explored alternative recycling models for use in the state.

“We wanted to better understand the economics of recycling in Florida and the relationship between cost and environmental benefits,” said Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation Executive Director Keyna Cory.

The Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation is a coalition of businesses and associations that works to improve the state’s recycling rates and systems. The foundation hopes to use the report’s insights to improve the economic and environmental viability of recycling programs statewide.

“The recycling industry has reached a tipping point and going forward it will be important to determine a cost-effective recycling program that allows us to reduce our environmental impacts and make better use of our resources,” said Dr. Malak Anshassi, one of the researchers.

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