FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2014
DEP RECOGNIZES JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS FOR OUTSTANDING RECYCLING EFFORT
~DEP honors company for its more than 45 percent recycling rate~
DEP NE District Director Greg Strong joined by Bob Chabot, Director of Facilities and Horticulture, Brad Walker, Facilities Coordinator and Cullen Richart, Facilities Manager.
JACKSONVILLE – The
Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Northeast District recognized Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens today for its superior recycling
efforts. In 2013, this Florida attraction recycled 809 tons, achieving a recycling rate of 45.1 percent.
“Businesses can benefit financially from investing in recycling
and that investment benefits Florida's environment,” said DEP Northeast District Director Greg Strong. “I am honored to recognize Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for its outstanding recycling efforts and for
the good environmental stewards they have been in our state.”
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens "Green Team" focuses on reuse and composting. On average the Zoo processes 10 cubic yards per week of
herbivore manure, plus the leftover hay and straw bedding, from the Zoo's herbivorous animal collection. This waste material is processed into approximately 10
cubic yards of finished compost per week. The finished compost is used onsite to amend the garden
soil throughout the property. This finished compost is also offered to local gardeners
and community gardens. All funds raised from the composting program are used to
support various plant and habitat conservation projects.
“We have developed a very
comprehensive program for virtually everything that is recyclable here at the
zoo,” said Bob Chabot, Director of Horticulture and Facilities at Jacksonville
Zoo and Gardens. “We continuously look for creative new ways to expand our
recycling program as well as ways to reuse or repurpose materials such as in
our Butterfly Hollow exhibit.”
In July, the Department 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 statewide recycling goal of
75 percent to be achieved by 2020. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is located in Duval County, which ranked 14th in the state in 2012, with a recycling rate of 47 percent. 2013 recycling data will be available this summer.
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
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. 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.
information about the Recycling Recognition Program click here.