Recycling Resurgence: Florida Waste Recovery Revolution

Waste recovery

It must be said that organic waste from the kitchen or garden represents the largest part, or 29% of the total volume of our trash cans. Too bad when you know that this type of waste can be easily transformed to serve other uses. In total, green waste can be recovered in three different ways:

  • By composting, at the end of which our waste is transformed into an excellent natural fertilizer.
  • By anaerobic digestion, similar to composting but practiced without oxygen and which makes it possible to obtain a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. It is biogas, which is used today to produce heat, electricity or as fuel. In town, some buses are already running on biogas.
  • Last process, energy recovery thanks to wood which will also make it possible to produce heat and electricity.

Since it is much less expensive, composting remains the most frequent method of recovery, but all are part of a brand new approach that aims to consider this waste as a resource in its own right. In Florida, for example, some distilleries offer beer brewed from unsold bread and coffee grounds are transformed into biofuel for buses.

This is the principle of the circular economy which seeks to make maximum use of all the resources at our disposal so as to no longer generate waste at all. This is what nature has been doing for thousands of years. Recycling, repair and reuse are all part of the circular economy concept, and the sector also generates jobs since 1.6 million people contribute to it around the world, for a global turnover of 190 billions dollars.

It remains to generalize ecological practices in the industrial sector, but here too things are changing over time.

Florida waste management policies

Since 2015, companies in Florida have been forced to sort their waste at source, but the projects also go further since it also involves rethinking the methods of extracting raw materials and manufacturing methods. Tomorrow’s products will have to be more durable and easier to recycle, and waste management will have to be as clean as possible.

In 2018, government of Florida revised its framework directive on waste to incorporate new objectives, including:

  • recycling 55% of municipal waste by 2025.
  • reducing food waste and recycling 70% of packaging by 2030.
  • and a 10% reduction in global landfill waste by 2035.

Each county is free to adopt the strategy that suits it best. In St. Augustine, this will involve creating new sorting centres, reducing the number of storage centers and setting up composting facilities throughout the country. The long-term objective will be to generalize the collection of green waste in the same way as other types of waste by 2024.

In general, the directives of tomorrow are based on 5 main points:

  • prevention, by promoting responsible behavior by professionals and consumers.
  • reuse, by getting out of the all-disposable and extending the life of our objects.
  • recycling, by carrying out selective sorting correctly.
  • the valorization of what can be used to produce gas, build roads or even fertilize crops.
  • elimination finally, as a last resort, but using more responsible processes.

Of course, the transition has a cost. In low-income countries, waste management accounts on average for 20% of the municipal budget. This is why the World Bank has already supported nearly 340 waste management programs around the world, for a total of more than 4.7 billion dollars.

Daily junk disposal gestures

And at the same time, since waste management is everyone’s business in Florida, it is also up to us to support responsible initiatives by adopting behaviors in line with what is being put in place, and to reduce pollution. Buy in bulk, for example, limit packaging, monitor use-by dates and cook all products as much as possible to throw away as little as possible.

You can also give up plastic bottles by choosing to drink tap water. At work or outside, if necessary, we will carry a stainless steel water bottle that can follow us for a very long time. And for body care, we will rather choose more natural solid cosmetics, and much less packaged. With a few ingredients, it is even possible to make your own cosmetics and cleaning products.

In the same way, a Stop Pub sticker affixed to the mailbox will considerably limit the waste of paper. And in the event of a damaged object, we will try to repair it or find a new function for it rather than throwing it away. A shoebox can easily become a storage box, glass jars can be kept for food storage or to create pretty candle holders.

And in case of purchase, we can also take the time to look at second-hand offers. It also works in reverse, our old objects may please others. As for more occasional objects such as a ladder or a spray gun for example, renting could well be an option to consider.

Waste management for the future

Reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, the circular economy is at the heart of the Zero Waste approach. In St. Augustine, recycling is on the rise and the gradual awareness has already enabled several fundamental restrictions to be put in place, including better St Augustine junk disposal services. Gone are the cotton swabs, bags and plastic cups and years to come should ban other disposable products. Despite everything, we still have a lot of catching up to do with some of the East Coast neighbours.

In a world where throwing away has become commonplace, we have forgotten the concept of sustainability. In nature, however, nothing is lost, everything is transformed. And it is this naturalness that we find today in alternatives to practically all our everyday plastic objects. Bamboo toothbrushes, fabric pouches, natural food packaging… For a smooth transition to a more responsible way of life both for yourself and for the whole planet.