Recycling in Osceola County

By Julia Soondar, Food Systems Intern, UF IFAS Extension – Osceola County

Recycling is a really simple way to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. However, depending on where you are and who provides your curbside pickup, the accepted materials can change. It is important to follow these guidelines to keep the recycling programs functioning and efficient. The following guidelines apply for Osceola County, City of Kissimmee, and City of Saint Cloud recycling, much of which is processed at Recycle America in Orlando.

  • What CAN be placed in recycle bins?
    • Paper: This includes newspapers, magazines, junk mail, paper bags and a variety of other paper materials that are not coated in wax.
    • Plastic: On the bottom of plastic containers there is a number indicating the type of plastic it is. Numbers 1-7 are accepted for recycling here. Before placing them in the bin, rinse the bottles to remove any residue and remove all bottle caps.
    • Metal: This can include aluminum, cans, aerosol cans, pie pans, and steel food containers. Like plastics, rinse them before placing them in the bin.
    • Cardboard: Common items would include food boxes, containers, and shipping boxes. Make sure to flatten the boxes.
    • Glass: Bottles and jars are the most common. Make sure to rinse them out. However, Osceola County will be changing curbside providers so glass will only be accepted until the end of September 2019. Starting on October 1st, glass will NOT be an acceptable recyclable material. The City of Kissimmee and the City of Saint Cloud will still be accepting glass.
  • What CANNOT be placed in recycle bins?
    • Bottle caps
    • Plastic bags
    • Unnumbered plastics
    • Disposable cups (except for those labeled as plastic 1-7)
    • Plastic flatware
    • Styrofoam
    • Shredded paper
    • Broken glass
    • Yard waste
    • Food waste

While recycling can save production energy for new goods, it does still take a lot of energy to breakdown these materials. Other options to reduce landfill waste include composting food and yard scraps, upcycling goods by giving them a new purpose, and shopping for products with minimal packaging. For example, avoid prepackaged fruits, bring your own grocery bags, and avoid individually wrapped items. Instead, buy larger bulk amounts of some products and portion it out yourself. This works for things such as large juice jugs rather than individual juice pouches or large chip bags rather than individual ones.

For more information and classes on sustainable living, contact the UF IFAS Extension in Osceola County.

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