Does Recycling make a Difference?

Sometimes we get mixed signals about whether recycling is important in Pinellas County. Our 25 local governments have various policies that support recycling efforts. Single stream recycling is the easiest method for residents but has not been adopted by all communities.

recycleSome residents are required to take recyclables to a center which can be messy and time consuming. So how important is it for all of us to make the extra effort to collect, store, sort and/or deliver recyclables to move them on their path?

Over 75% of the trash in Pinellas County can be recycled. Where does our trash end up? Pinellas County took the bold step in the late 1970’s to pursue an alternative to traditional solid waste landfill disposal, with the development of one of the largest waste to energy facilities in the world. Pinellas County processes all the municipal waste in a coordinated effort. The waste that is delivered to the center becomes the fuel that is burned to make energy through an agreement with Duke Energy. Sounds perfect, right?

The Waste to Energy plant must still landfill at those times that it is not fully operational so a landfill is connected to the center. There are still some basic reasons why recycling is an important activity.

1. Recycling conserves energy

2. Recycling saves our natural resources

3. Recycling is a boost for the economy

4. Recycling impacts climate change

Creating a sustainable community requires all those activities that support reduced impacts to the environment and supporting a healthy economy. Recycling closes the loop on waste and is one step forward toward a more sustainable community. Recycle as much as you can as often as you can.