The communities of Hillsborough County have the highest overall recycling rate in the state, according to a Florida Department of Environmental Protection report released last week. Hillsborough County, inclusive of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City, had a combined total recycling rate of 73 percent in 2013, when incorporating renewable energy credits from waste-to-energy production. The total rate includes both public and private sector recycling activities.
Hillsborough County government and the City of Tampa both utilize waste-to-energy facilities as a primary solid waste disposal method, creating renewable energy and reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills. The renewable energy credits, calculated based on the amount of renewable energy produced using solid waste as fuel, largely influenced the county’s overall recycling rate.
Totals for all of Hillsborough County (in 2013):
Trash collected per person – 7.74 pounds/day
1.8 million tons of solid waste collected
775,000 tons of solid waste directly recycled
547,000 megawatts of renewable energy generated from waste
154,000 tons of yard waste recycled