Waste and Recycling
Broward County Puts Scraps to Good Use
Broward County’s Waste Reduction Committee developed and launched the “Don’t Dispose…Compost!” pilot program to make composting at the Government Center West as common and popular as recycling. Composting, the process of creating organic materials to use as soil enhancement, is a way of recycling yard and kitchen waste. Broward County’s Solid Waste and Recycling Services helped purchase the collection bins and composters, and the Waste Reduction Committee began marketing the pilot program in the facility’s kitchens and break rooms. In just one year, approximately 400 gallons of compostable material was successfully added to the compost bins, and the nutrient-rich soil compost has been used to fertilize flowers in the Butterfly Garden. As a result of the program’s success, the County has implemented a residential program encouraging composting at home.
County Employees Reduce, Recycle and Reuse!
Broward County employees are fans of recycling, too – at home and at work. Most employees recycle everyday items such as paper, aluminum, glass, plastic bottles, cans and printer cartridges by placing them in conveniently-located containers throughout government facilities. There are also collection points for recyclable cell phones and batteries. Common office practices include:
- two-sided forms
- duplex copying – at Water and Wastewater Services Division, for example, every printer capable of printing in duplex has been configured to force duplex printing, reducing paper use by 40 percent over traditional printing methods.
- electronic report distribution – Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), for example, reduced its number of agenda packages from 120 to 55. This committee meets 10 times per year, and the number of pages in an agenda package is 95.
- electronic entry of data and reports by employees that work “in the field,” such as Animal Care and Permitting, Licensing and Consumer Protection staff
- document management systems that provide for electronic handling and archiving of important documents, dramatically reducing paper consumption
- online applications, such as the Human Resources Division’s employment application system
public records request fulfillment by electronic means – for example, 99 percent of public records requests to Broward County Transit’s Paratransit Services are handled electronically
County Facilities and Schools Participate in Government Recycling Program
The County’s governmental recycling program began in 1992 and includes the majority of County office buildings, parks, libraries, and other facilities, and is administered by the Public Works Department’s Waste and Recycling Services. Cardboard and office paper comprise the majority of materials; however, most sites have incorporated the collection of plastic bottles and aluminum cans, especially now that recyclables can be collected the single-stream recycling method. Made possible through an Interlocal Agreement with the School Board of Broward County, Waste and Recycling Services has provided comprehensive recycling programs to Broward County public schools since 1992. Broward County Public Schools is the sixth largest school district in the nation, comprising more than 260,000 students and 35,000 faculty and staff.
Waste-to-Energy Plants Save Millions of Barrels of Oil
Broward County's two waste-to-energy plants are capable of processing 4,500 tons of waste per day. Primary functions of the plants include: to provide an environmentally safe and cost-effective solid waste disposal solution; to recover energy and recyclable ferrous metals; and to reduce the quantity of waste subject to land filling. Annually, the plants generate enough electricity to service about 75,000 households in our community at an energy savings of about 2.8 million barrels of oil.
Convention Center Recycles on a Large Scale
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center supports recycling in a very big way. This three-story, 600,000 square-foot facility is the site for conventions, trade shows, consumer shows and various special events. Their program includes:
- Cardboard, bulk cardboard and office paper products
- Commingled aluminum, glass, & plastic
Supplies purchased included:
- Products for housekeeping and food service made from recycled or compostable materials; where possible, chemical supplies are being changed to environmentally-friendly products
- Paper napkins, deli paper, food trays, coffee cups and sleeves are made from recycled paper
- Cups, to-go containers and cutlery are made from compostable materials such as potatoes and corn
In addition, leftover banquet food is donated to a local food bank.
Broward County Joins WasteWise
Broward County Government has joined the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WasteWise program, a voluntary partnership program that seeks to reduce solid waste through innovative waste prevention and recycling techniques. The program asks that residents do what they can to prevent waste, use only the material needed to get the job done. More…