This article appeared in the June 2023 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.Recycle Florida Today (RFT) is on the front lines helping to advance recycling in Florida, and it’s been a busy 2023 so far.
With our members’ commitment of time and resources, we are making great progress on materials recovery in the Sunshine State. While Florida has work to do to meet its ambitious goal of recycling 75% of municipal solid waste, we applaud the efforts of counties and municipalities that are behind the many local community recycling programs, providing citizen education and outreach efforts.

Reexamining the process

Florida recycles about half of the municipal solid waste it generates each year and exceeds many recycling rates elsewhere in the country. To support the state’s initiative to recycle 75% of municipal solid waste, RFT (Florida’s state recycling organization) is leading an effort to bring together experts to reexamine how Florida recycles – and how we can continue to reduce the amount of material entering landfills and waste-to-energy facilities.
For example, construction and demolition debris (C&D) accounts for one-third of Florida’s overall waste stream, so there is a tremendous opportunity to recycle more of this C&D in Florida. In light of this, RFT brought together experts from across our state to determine best practices for future recycling of this material.

In addition, earlier this year, RFT spearheaded the formation of a chapter of the US Composting Council (USCC), making Florida the 15th state to have such a chapter.

The Florida Composting Council (FLCC) is organized to promote the composting industry and the reduction, reuse and recycling of the organic component of Florida’s waste stream through support of infrastructure development, operator training, quality control and ethical operations, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and general public education.
The FLCC will be holding a Composter Conference in conjunction with the RFT Annual Conference and Exhibition on June 21. Read more on the FLCC at

We are excited to be a part of this new affiliation with the USCC that is supporting Florida’s efforts in advocacy, education and member training for the goal of advancing composting and organics in the state.

Setting a strong foundation

Yet another example of our work is in the creation of Recycle Florida Today Foundation (RFTF), recently launched to serve and support professional development and related objectives of source reduction, waste prevention and reuse, as well as recycling (including composting).

In addition, to support Florida industry efforts, RFT sought approval for the design and sale of a specialty license plate. Although passage of the bill that is needed to gain approval from the legislature was unsuccessful this session, the foundation will continue to actively engage and support such efforts in Florida.

The association will come together June 20-22 for its annual conference and exhibition in Bonita Springs, Fla., with the theme of “We Are Florida Recycling.” The event is expected to draw environmental professionals from local and state governments as well as private and nonprofit organizations, creating an audience of program managers, recycling coordinators, directors, consultants, regulators and those interested in the business and development of the recycling industry.

Registration and more information can be found at

Finally, RFT is excited to be serving as the official state recycling association partner for the 2023 Resource Recycling Conference. The conference, which is the largest national event in municipal recycling, is set to take place Aug. 14-16 in Orlando.

RFT is organizing a session highlighting successful regional partnerships in the state, exploring strategies to share outreach materials and infrastructure across jurisdictions. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando and showing the national audience all the materials recovery momentum happening in this corner of the country.

Heather Armstrong is the executive director of Recycle Florida Today and can be contacted at

[email protected]. Patricia Davis has spent her career as a communications professional in the solid waste management and recycling field as well as in the energy industry. She currently provides marketing and public relations services through her consulting firm. She can be reached at [email protected].

This article appeared in the June 2023 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.