Having just observed Earth Day on April 22, it’s a good time to re-think recycling, that is, why it’s important and how we can improve our recycling habits.
It’s encouraging to note up front that we deserve a pat on the back. “The public should know they are doing a great job recycling,” says Himanshu Mehta, managing director of Indian River County Solid Waste Disposal District. “Our participation rate is high in this county.”
The Florida legislature has mandated a recycling rate of 75% statewide by 2020. Each county reports its own recycling rate, which is calculated by the weight of garbage taken to the landfill versus the weight of material sent to a recycling facility for processing. The latest recycling figure for Indian River County shows that we are up to 64%.
Can we do better? Of course, and the county has made it easier than ever by instituting single-stream recycling and delivering a wheeled blue cart to each resident to replace the two bins we used in the past: one for paper and the other for plastic, glass and aluminum.
To help do our part, each household and business can figure its own recycling rate and see where it falls. With just a bit more motivation and effort, we can make up the difference.