County may consider new strategy to increase recycling

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Managing Director of the Solid Waste Disposal District told County Commissioners Tuesday they may switch the way recyclable trash is collected in order to meet a state-mandated goal of increasing recycling.

House Bill 7243 went into effect in July and sets forth goals for reaching 75 percent of trash in Florida being recycled by 2020. SWDD Managing Director Himanshu Meta said the county is currently handling 31 percent of recyclable trash that reaches the landfill.


Meta said one of the strategies the County Commission should consider is going to single stream recycling in favor of the two-stream system currently in place. With the single stream system all home recyclable trash goes into one bin that is picked up weekly.

“A whole lot more people will put trash in a single container rather than having to separate it into two bins and then have someone haul that away,” Commissioner Wesley Davis said.

The House bill sets forth benchmarks of 40 percent recycling in 2012, 50 percent in 2014, 60 percent in 2016, 70 percent in 2018 and 75 percent in 2020.

“In order to get to that 75 percent goal the Legislature has set we are going to have to strongly consider single stream recycling,” Meta said. “Other communities that have done that have seen increased participation, it is a lot easier. Basically, you have a cart on wheels.”

However, Meta said it is there are some negatives with single stream recycling as the separation of the different kinds of recyclable trash is not as clean as when it is done inside the home.

“A lot of the paper mills are not too keen on it,” he said. “You tend to get a lot of glass and things like that at the mill. However, in terms of participation and getting the tonnage out of the landfill, single stream increases the amount you are recycling.”

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