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~Florida-based furniture company boasts 87 percent recycling rate~


Secretary Vinyard presents Rooms To Go President Steve Buckley with a recycling recognition award

SEFFNER- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Secretary Herschel T Vinyard Jr. recognized Rooms To Go today for its superior commercial recycling efforts. In the first six months of 2013, this Florida based furniture retailer has recycled nearly 3,000 tons, or more than 87 percent of its solid waste.

“Businesses can benefit financially from investing in recycling and that investment benefits Florida's environment,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “I am honored to recognize Rooms To Go, a Florida-based business, for its outstanding recycling efforts and for the good environmental stewards they have been in our state.”

Rooms To Go has had an active recycling and sustainability program for the last 20 years and has received multiple awards for its efforts. Beginning in 1992 with a cardboard program, Rooms To Go’s initiative evolved to include plastics and Styrofoam. The program began in Florida and expanded to its other U.S. markets. To date, Rooms to Go’s 150 stores and 7 distribution centers have kept more than 200,000 tons of cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam, wood and metal out of landfills. In Florida alone, Rooms to Go's 72 stores and two distribution centers have recycled nearly 90,000 tons of materials.

"All of us at Rooms To Go are honored that Secretary Vinyard and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have acknowledged our commitment to being good corporate citizens and in particular our efforts toward recycling and other environmental issues," said Steve Buckley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rooms To Go. "We opened our first store in Orlando in 1991 and throughout our growth we have always tried to give back to the communities we live and work in.  Our commitment to the environment and to finding the best ways possible to preserve it is very much a part of everyday life at Rooms To Go."

Buckley accepted the Department's recognition award on behalf of the company. Florida Representative Ross Spano was on hand to congratulate Rooms To Go and to echo Secretary Vinyard's sentiment of the importance of recycling in Florida. Rooms To Go's headquarters are in Hillsborough County, which had the third highest total recycling rate in the state for 2012 at 69 percent.

Rooms To Go's recycling rate is more than double the statewide commercial recycling rate and the Department is highlighting the company’s outstanding efforts. The Department encourages all businesses throughout the state to follow Rooms To Go’s lead and increase their recycling efforts. Recycling provides a direct cost savings to most businesses because the more that is recycled means less waste and lower waste management operating costs. Reuse of materials can also represent a cost savings.

The Department recently released the 2012 municipal solid waste annual report, which reported Florida’s statewide recycling rate is 48 percent. In 2008, the Florida Legislature established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020. Commercial municipal solid waste accounts for approximately 55 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream in Florida. In order for Florida to reach its 75 percent goal, the Department is urging all sectors, especially the commercial sector, to actively increase its recycling efforts. According to the 2012 data, less than half of commercial waste is being recycled. It is crucial that businesses, schools and other commercial recyclers increase their recycling efforts. 

The Department has an easy tool for companies to track recycling efforts -- the Florida DEP Business Recycling Tracking Tool. Through the website, which includes free registration, companies can track different types of recycling efforts and produce reports on how those efforts are helping to shrink their carbon footprint. The tracking will help the Department to recognize companies that are doing more to go green. For more information about the program click here.