More than 10,000 restaurants, bars, businesses and apartment-style properties across Orlando are now required to offer recycling, with the new city program set to be phased in over four years.
The Orlando City Council unanimously OK’d the ordinance Monday requiring the service be offered, which will reduce waste going into landfills as these properties produce about double that produced by homes, officials said.
It also could reduce the overall trash bills paid by some property owners, Solid Waste Manager Mike Carroll said, since it costs about $7.50 per cubic yard of trash picked up compared to $3.50 per cubic yard of recycling.
“Where there wasn’t a recycle container…there will be one within four years,” Carroll said.
However, as Orlando is expanding its recycling, in other parts of Central Florida, governments are doing the opposite.
Deltona, Volusia County’s largest city, suspended its program last month. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported Deltona city commissioners made the decision because of rising costs and uncertainty of how many recycled product ends up in landfills.
Last year, China stopped importing some recycled products and required the ones it accepted to be of a higher quality.
Carroll said Orlando felt some the effects of the market but that recycling remains viable.
“For us in Orlando, our residents still want the opportunity to recycle,” Carroll said. “It still makes financial sense for us, it still makes great environmental sense for us.”
The first deadline for compliance in Orlando is in September for all new construction projects. In order to receive a certificate of occupancy, a recycling plan must be submitted.
Next March, large apartment buildings — those at least 250 units — and commercial buildings of at least 200,000 square feet must offer recycling.
In 2021, medium buildings — apartments between 75 and 249 units and commercial buildings between 100,000 and 199,999 square feet — must have recycling capabilities.
By 2023, all others must comply.
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