DEP Celebrates Earth Day with Recycling Recognition Awards

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DEP Celebrates Earth Day with Recycling Recognition Award

~Sustainable Tallahassee recognized for recycling efforts~

Recycling Recognition

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, in celebration of Earth Day, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein presented a Recycling Recognition award to Sustainable Tallahassee, recognizing the nonprofit organization’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices and Florida’s environment. 

“DEP is proud to recognize organizations like Sustainable Tallahassee that demonstrate their dedication to sustainable practices and preserving Florida’s natural resources,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “With the help of our partners, we can educate residents and visitors about the importance of recycling, continue working toward improving our statewide recycling efforts, and achieve more now for Florida’s environment.”

Sustainable Tallahassee’s waste reduction efforts include starting a pilot composting program at Roberts Elementary School in Tallahassee, where during the first semester, more than 1,000 pounds of waste was placed in composting bins for use in the school garden as well as hosting weekly Rags2Bags meetings, where volunteers gather to sew together bags from donated materials to reduce use of plastic bags.

"I am excited to accept DEP's Recycling Recognition award on behalf of our organization," said Executive Director of Sustainable Tallahassee Jim Davis. "A major goal of Sustainable Tallahassee is to promote engagement of local citizens and organizations in solving sustainability issues in Florida's Capital community. A major issue in most Florida communities is the reduction of waste going to our landfills. At Sustainable Tallahassee, we have taken the discussion of these issues to local events by "greening" festivals and other events. The hope is that our efforts will encourage waste reduction and educate participants on proper methods of recycling. We appreciate the educational resources created by DEP, which are useful in developing our educational efforts. Hopefully this award will encourage other citizen's group in our state to educate about and promote waste reduction."

Earth Day is an opportunity for everyone to rethink recycling practices and reset recycling behaviors. About 30 percent of all household materials recycled in Florida are incorrectly disposed. Since 2017, DEP has partnered with the Florida Recycling Partnership, Waste Management, MARPAN, Waste Connections, Single Stream Recyclers LLC and local recycling coordinators to decrease recycling contamination and encourage proper curbside recycling practices through the Rethink. Reset. Recycle. project. 

Last year, to coincide with Earth Day, DEP launched a voluntary initiative to encourage Florida residents and visitors to reduce their plastic use and "skip the straw" for one week. Plastic straws are one of the many single-use plastics that litter beaches, pollute oceans and harm wildlife. Learn more about the Skip the Straw initiative, and take a pledge to reduce plastic pollution.

Earth Day, the world’s largest environmental movement, is recognized on April 22, 2019, and celebrates the importance of natural resource protection, volunteerism and outdoor recreation. Many of DEP’s district offices, program areas, state parks and partners are hosting and participating in a variety of statewide volunteer and environmental education events throughout the month of April. Learn more about opportunities near you.