In 2008, the Florida Legislature enacted House Bill 7135 which established a statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by the year 2020. Jorge Caspary, director, solid waste division, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) addressed Florida’s recycling rates at C&D World 2013 held in late April in Tampa.
According to Caspary, C&D debris generation in the Southeast United States exceeds 20 million tons. “Hurricanes contribute a lot to C&D generation,” he said. In 2004 alone, the C&D debris generated from hurricanes was enough to fill railcars from Tampa to San Francisco, he told attendees.
C&D debris is considered part of municipal solid waste (MSW) in Florida. Caspary said that since 2011 the amount of municipal solid waste sent to landfills in Florida has decreased by 10 million tons. That same year, the C&D recycling rate was 29 percent.
He also noted that more waste Florida is used in waste-to-energy facilities than any other state. Waste in Florida is broken down as follows:
- 54 percent landfills;
- 17 percent combustion; and
- 30 percent recycling.
Caspary said C&D makes up 21 percent of MSW while paper makes up 24 percent. Before the recession, he said C&D was greater than paper. Florida is also working on amendments that would require all C&D material to be processed before disposal. At the conclusion of his presentation, many Florida-based recyclers praised Caspary and offered a round of applause for the positive environment Florida has created recycling companies.
C&D Word 2013 was held April 20-23 at the Tampa Convention Center.