To Mandate or Not ?

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To mandate or not to mandate, that seems to be the question these days.

Florida’s 75% recycling rate goal by 2020 is an ambitious one. It’s especially ambitious when you consider the state’s current recycling rate is 31%.

Even if waste-to-energy is considered into that formula the state still “has a long way to go,” said Jeff Littlejohn, deputy secretary for regulation programs for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, at the Corporate Recycling & Waste Conference outside of Orlando, Florida.

Littlejohn was the keynote speaker of the conference, talking about improvements the department has made to reduce permit time and increase recycling.

One of the biggest opportunities for increases in the state’s overall recycling rate is the commercial market, he said.

“Quite simply, we can’t make our goal without the commercial sector,” Littlejohn said.

While California’s similar goal has come with mandated commercial and apartment recycling, the same hasn’t happened in Florida.

“I think our legislature got it right by not mandating and leaving innovation up to you,” he said to the crowd.

The different approaches that California and Florida have taken to reach the same goal will be a fantastic experiment. While leading the way in goal-setting, they will provide a good path for state’s after them to see what approach may work best.

Recycling is important.  Here is to hoping that when it comes to food waste recycling Floridians choose the Eco-Safe Digester.

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