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City of Apopka Launches Pilot with Assistance from The Recycling Partnership to Dramatically Improve the Quality, Quantity of Residential Recycling Materials

The upcoming “Feet on the Street” cart tagging and recycling education initiative is part of Apopka’s efforts to provide tailored curbside recycling feedback to residents.

APOPKA, Fla. October 14, 2020 – The City of Apopka is launching a pilot of The Recycling Partnership’s Feet on the Street cart-tagging recycling education campaign – an initiative to improve the quality of recycling in the City’s single-stream curbside recycling program by providing select residents personalized and real-time recycling education and feedback.

The Recycling Partnership’s Feet on the Street program is intended to increase the capture of quality recyclables – items that are accepted for recycling that are clean, empty, and dry, so they can circulate back into the recycling system to become new products or packaging. The program has already significantly improved the quality and quality of curbside recyclables captured in Orange County, creating valuable feedstock of raw materials used in the manufacturing of new packaging and products.

“Recycling is a valuable public service for Apopka residents,” said Bryan Nelson, Mayor of the City of Apopka. “Recycling provides an opportunity for our residents to protect the environment while enhancing their local economy. The Feet on the Street program will help provide guidance for residents.”

The Apopka Feet on the Street pilot will include a comprehensive curbside recycling education and outreach strategy that includes a team of community-based observers visiting residents’ recycling carts and providing personalized feedback on how to improve what makes it into the carts. In addition to the personalized curbside recycling feedback, residents will receive an at-home mailer in advance of the cart tagging to inform them of what they can and cannot recycle in their curbside containers.

“The Recycling Partnership is pleased to partner with the City of Apopka and pilot our Feet on the Street program as we continue to optimize recycling across the Sunshine State,” said Jill Martin, Director of Community Programs at The Recycling Partnership. “By providing residents real-time personalized recycling feedback, we are helping the City of Apopka capture more quality recyclables that are then transformed into new materials or packaging, saving taxpayers money while creating a more resilient, circular economy and a less wasteful planet.”

In Apopka, recyclables should be loose and not in bags and no plastic bags should be placed in curbside containers. Items with food residue, batteries and small electronics, and Styrofoam™ should not be placed in residents’ recycling carts.  Many of these materials can cause equipment jams at recycling processing facilities, creating hazards for recycling facility workers.

Now, more than ever, Apopka residents view recycling as an essential public service. And during a time of social distancing where many non-essential employees are working from home and commercial recycling is near an all-time low, producers see residential recycling programs as a critical supplier for manufacturing.

Apopka’s Feet on the Street pilot is being supported with grant dollars and technical assistance received from The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit that puts private dollars to work, helping communities invest in recycling systems and empowering residents to take sustainable action. Apopka’s grant is part of a larger project happening in Florida made possible in part by the Coca-Cola Foundation and How2Recycle, a U.S. and Canada-based standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public.

To date, more than 70 U.S. communities have adopted The Recycling Partnership’s Feet on the Street program, with some communities seeing a 57% decrease of nonrecyclables in the recycling stream and a 27% increase in the overall capture of quality recyclables.

To learn more about what is and is not recyclable in the City of Apopka, visit https://www.apopka.net/353/Recycling


 About The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership is a national nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in states, cities, and communities nationwide. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging to local governments charged with recycling to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org