Recycle Florida Today Environmental Sustainability
Recycle Florida Today, Inc. would like to recognize those with outstanding programs in the business of recycling. The R.F.T.E.S. award displays outstanding programs and/or businesses in the field of recycling and environmental sustainability. Pursuing significantly increased awareness and the ability to motivate others to maximize their recycling, composting, grass-roots efforts, waste reduction, sustainability efforts and improving their recycling rates through education, outreach and by example.
Click each link to review the individual programs below and then vote for your favorite that you feel is deserving of a 2017 Recycle Florida Today Environmental Sustainability Award – R.F.T.E.S.
Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department
Brevard County Solid Waste Management Recycling Education and Outreach Campaign continues to improve the established Brevard County Recycling Program, meet regulatory requirements and serves the greater community. Recycling is not mandatory in Brevard County. The most important part of the outreach campaign, Recycle Right, Brevard!, is to inspire, encourage and motivate our constituents to participate in recycling the correct way to reduce contamination and maximize curbside recycling.
That is why we have updated our website to reach out to the adults as well as the children. We have created a Facebook page; developed advertising for the newspapers, radio, and movie theaters; produced animated videos; installed transit advertisement; established recycling sites at many Brevard County Government buildings; and contracted with Keep Brevard Beautiful for education services in the public school system. Brevard County Solid Waste Management Recycling Education and Outreach Campaign is always ready and available to provide assistance/guidance to recycle right. Most residents have the best intentions, when it comes to recycling as much as possible; however, items get tossed into the recycling cart that do not belong and at worst contaminate recycling loads or negatively impact sorting efficiencies at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The Recycle Right, Brevard! campaign is focused on encouraging waste reduction, reusing materials, curbside recycling, and reducing contamination. There has been an overall improvement in the County’s curbside collection. Our campaign will continue through 2017 with expectations to increase our single stream collection.
Gasparilla Music Festival
The Gasparilla Music Foundation hosts it’s annual Gasparilla Music Festival every March for the past 7 years in downtown Tampa. For the past 5 years the festival has developed a custom sustainability program that includes programs such as bike valet, carbon offsets, recycling and waste management, food vendor waste composting, public transit promotion/partnership to reduce single-occupant vehicle trips to the festival, and other on-site initiatives. The foundation’s primary community outreach effort–Recycled Tunes–also takes used instruments donated by the community, refurbishes them, and helps place them in local public schools to support their music classes and aspiring musician students. Beyond being a premier, award-winning regional music festival featuring international, national, regional and local bands–the festival aims to be a responsible community event and partner to reduce it’s impact on the environment…a worthy cause!
The composting program includes education, interaction and coordination with our primarily local food vendors–helping them understand how we hope to reduce our impact, and the value that the food waste can bring. We work with the food vendors to collect their pre-event food prep waste, as well as have dedicated on-site collection during the event. GMF also piloted attendee food waste composting in 2017, and hopes to expand that collection in 2018 and beyond. We utilize the food waste by composting it and donating it to various community gardens to grow vegetables that are then donated to various food kitchens and non-profits throughout the year. We estimated that over 500 lbs of food benefited for our compost for the past 3 years (range from 400-800 lbs estimated vegetables grown each year for past 3 years, with compost volumes in the 120-200 lbs range).
Our recycling program works in partnership with the City of Tampa, ensuring that all recyclable waste streams are understood and accounted for prior to the festival. On-site we aim to maximize our diversion rates through on-site education (messaging from the stage) as well as printed education (on-site signage and information in our program (full page ad/promotion of recycling & sustainability initiatives).
We have also teamed up with Boxed Water since 2013 to reduce our use of plastic bottled water, and promote a more sustainable packaged water solution. The environmental benefits of boxed water are promoted on the package, further increasing our outreach as it relates to environmental stewardship. Through these efforts we hope to inspire other events to consider reducing their environmental impact, and continue to share the learnings and best practices we continue to develop in making the Gasparilla Music Festival the most eco-conscious festival in Tampa Bay and beyond!
At Sustainable Tallahassee, our goal is to create a sustainable community by offering public education and networking opportunities, and functioning as a catalyst for stimulating green industry and green collar jobs. The Board of Directors and volunteers work to accomplish this goal by developing partnerships with existing organizations, local government, businesses and citizens and by offering opportunities to learn about why and how we can create a sustainable community that enhances our quality of life and promotes economic development.
Sustainable Tallahassee has relied exclusively on volunteers since Greenovation began in March 2007. In our first year as Greenovation, the team initiated projects such as Tallahassee’s first Park and Ride program and a recycling program called iRecycle that was rolled out in all Leon County Schools in August 2007.
Programs like iRecycle not only contribute to increased awareness of the importance of sustainable practices, but have a tangible impact through a reduction in the solid-waste costs for Leon County Schools. The partnerships Greenovation and now Sustainable Tallahassee developed to implement the iRecycle program will ensure that this program continues into the future because, as a catalyst for change, volunteers created a program that can stand on its own and is currently managed by Leon County Schools staff and teachers.
Although Sustainable Tallahassee volunteers will continue their efforts to promote recycling in our community, we serve as a community catalyst to bring key partners to the table and create a common goal that is accomplished and therefore owned by all members of the team. This approach allows ST, a volunteer organization, to work with multiple partners in our area on an array of different issues to create sustainable projects that benefit our local economy and promote sustainable living.