Winners Announced — 2016 Recycle Florida Today Sustainability Award
Congratulations to our 2016 Recycle Florida Today Sustainability Award Winners
University of Florida Organics Diversion
The University of Florida Physical Plant Division was awarded the 2016 RFT Environmental Sustainability Award for its Organics Diversion program at the annual conference in St. Augustine on June 14. Over the past year, the university invested in extensive planning and routing revisions, as well as new equipment, to ramp up food waste collection to 27 dining facilities, several sorority houses, the Hare Krishna’s daily vegan lunch program, and some special events on campus.
At the same time, UF launched a collection for another big organic waste stream – the 500,000 lbs. of paper towels used each year in campus restrooms (featured in RTF Renewable News, 2015 Summer Edition). The brown, unbleached towels, made from recycled paper mix well with food waste to absorb liquids and add a source of carbon. By the fall of 2016, all campus buildings served by the PPD will have the paper towel composting in place. These organics are transported three times per week to a large commercial composting facility that sells a high-quality finished product to farms, landscapers and developers, and even to UF Grounds and Gators’ Stadium.
Finally, UF is delving into some compost experiments of its own using organics from conservation areas, grounds, recreational sports fields, greenhouses, and agricultural plots on the 2000 acre campus. In 2015, the PPD composted 455 cubic yards of this waste (estimated at 110 tons) which is now being used to restore recreation sports fields. A new windrow of about 50 tons of material is testing an inoculant to reduce the need to frequently turn the row.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens is please to accept the 2016 Recycle Florida Today Environmental Sustainability award in the category of Private Recycling Program.
At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay our attention to recycling efforts is a high priority. With a 40 percent recycling rate, we recycled almost 6 million pounds of waste in 2015. Our efforts can be broken down into two categories: “In park” and behind the scenes.
Throughout the theme park we have found creative ways to engage our guest in our recycling efforts. Our guests have aided us in recycling 119,000 pounds of plastic and aluminum with our 250 in-park recycling receptacles. We provide other opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle by selling reusable cups at many of our in park restaurants. Out of the 371 thousand reusable cups we sold our guest refilled them 334 thousand times, saving 334 thousand plastic cups from being used. In addition, Busch Gardens Tampa has reused building materials from our now defunct Gwazi roller coaster in building projects at our sister parks in Orlando.
Since 1995, one of our greatest behind-the-scenes recycling efforts is composting. With more than 12,000 animals on property, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay recycles over 3,000,000 million pounds of manure yearly, which we used in our state certified composting site. The waste is then used in various ways throughout our park, like in the construction of one of our most popular thrill rides, Cheetah Hunt. We also give compost away for free to our employees and members of the community further encouraging the cyclical care of our planet. Our compost is also used in our browse farm, which we use to help nourish our animals.
But it doesn’t stop there. At Busch Gardens we recycle several other products such as cardboard, wooden pallets, scrap metal, and cooking oil.
Join us for our 2017 Annual Conference and Exhibition and hear an update on these award winning programs in Sarasota, FL.