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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS SUPPORTS CURBSIDE RECYCLING, 4/21/2008
Many citizens are investing their time and energy in recycling efforts. Natural resources and landfill space are being saved by recycling, and materials that would otherwise go to landfills are being reused in inventive ways. These efforts are not new or only the result of individual efforts.
In 1988, the State of Florida passed a law requiring each county to begin a recycling program. Later, Florida counties were required to reduce their waste by 30% by recycling. According to the Recycling Coordinator for Escambia County, of Florida’s 67 counties, and one district, 31 counties offer county-wide curbside recycling; 23 have partial curbside pickup; 10 have drop-off recycling only; and 4 counties have no residential recycling service.
The need for curbside recycling is evident. The Santa Rosa County Community System Director noted that each individual, on average, generates 4 pounds of garbage per day. The value of curbside recycling is clear–old tires collected at the Escambia County sites are sold to a dealer in Alabama; collected paint is cleaned, mixed and used by Habitat for Humanity and offered to the public for free; collected glass is ground and used for roadways at the landfill, and reusable shoes are sent to Roanoke, Alabama.
Public support for recycling is broad based and committed. In Santa Rosa County, there are 27 drop-off recycling sites where about one million pounds of recyclables are collected each month – one million pounds that do not go to the landfill. Also, the City of Gulf Breeze offers curbside recycling. In Escambia County, there are 17 drop-off recycling sites where about 620,000 pounds of recyclables are collected each month. Citizens report receptacles fill quickly to overflowing.
Following presentations from both Santa Rosa and Escambia County personnel and based on previous League study, the membership of the Pensacola Bay Area League of Women Voters recently overwhelmingly agreed to support curbside recycling as soon as it can be established. The League now urges government officials to implement curbside recycling which the facts show the public needs and wants.
Carolann Holmes, President
League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area