At a recent city commission meeting, the St. Augustine City Commission directed staff to offer commercial recycling to businesses within the city.
To begin the program, cardboard collection was offered, since cardboard and its disposal can be implemented at the least cost to the city and its customers.
In July the collection was expanded to include all plastic food and beverage containers; detergent bottles and jugs labeled #1-#7; water and glass bottles and jars; metal and aluminum cans; newspapers and inserts; magazines and catalogs; telephone book; brown paper bags; office and copy paper; and brown or gray fiber packages (soda cartons, dry food packages, etc.)
Drop off bins are available at the Solid Waste Facility, 601 Riberia St. from 7:00 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays and on the weekends when the bins will be located outside the enclosed and fenced facility. In the future, as the program still expands, additional curb side collection of other recyclables will be considered.
Residential customers have been recycling since the late 1990's and with the move to include commercial customers, the Department of Public Works (PW) hopes to also increase the number of residential users who recycle.
The residential recycling program is through a contract with Advanced Disposal. That program represents collection of 2.1% of the total recyclables collected in the City of St. Augustine. As a whole, the city’s recycling rate is 12.81%, while the statewide average is 28%. The goal is to increase residential recycling 30% over current participation.
It's noted that the cost of recycling by residential customers is absorbed in the current cost for collection of solid waste which is paid by all customers whether or not the customer recycles.
In 2008 the Florida Legislature passed HB7135, the Energy Climate Change & Economic Security bill which include goals to achieve 75% recycling by the year 2020. Due to the fact that the City of St. Augustine’s population is less than 50,000, there is no requirement for achieving this goal. However, the commission directed staff to make every effort to increase recycling within the community.
An integral part of increasing the level of service for recycling, staff will be increasing their level of effort to promote recycling within the community through increased outreach programs including presentations at community, neighborhood and school and public events.
Recycling containers will be placed along high visitor traffic areas such as St. George Street, Plaza de la Constitution, the Visitor Information Center and the St. Francis Events Field. Considering the additional efforts for this initial phase, Public Works is projecting that solid waste recycling will be increased from the present 12.81% to almost 16%.
For more information on residential or commercial recycling, contact the Department of Public Works at 825.1040.
To view the slide presentation made to the City Commission on June 14, 2010, click here.