To the Editor:
Lee County has been named as one of Florida’s top five recycling counties by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Strong participation by both residents and businesses has enabled Lee County to earn the fourth spot out of 67 counties.
Lee County received credit for recycling 1.5 million tons of the total 2.7 million tons of waste generated locally in 2022, according to FDEP. This brings the county’s recycling rate to 72 percent. The amount of material Lee County residents recycled in 2022 would be enough to fill 158 football fields with material 70 feet high – as tall as the White House.
Prior to Hurricane Ian, Lee County was on track to once again earn a top recycling spot. The storm, which made landfall Sept. 28, caused enough destruction that 6.3 million cubic yards of debris were collected in unincorporated Lee County and about 12 million cubic yards countywide. Despite this challenge, Lee County residents continued to recycle when they could, earning them a spot in the top five.
Solid Waste Director Doug Whitehead said Lee County residents remained passionate about the environment even in the face of adversity, that our residents recognize that responsible recycling is part of the bigger picture and they made the effort to properly recycle, despite the hardships they have faced during the past 10 months.
Remaining in the top five is a true testament to the spirit of Lee County and it shows how seriously we take the preservation of our beautiful community.
FDEP recycling credits are acquired for items such as curbside recycling by residents as well as business recycling of materials such as cardboard, yard waste, scrap metal and construction and demolition debris. Lee County also receives recycling credit for energy produced from garbage processed at the Waste-to-Energy plant in Buckingham.
For information on what to recycle, handling household waste, recycling electronics and other items, visit leegov.com/solidwaste/recycling. Additional solid waste information is available at leegov.com/solidwaste.
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CPRC Communications Director, Lee County