Orange County, Florida, recycling quality improvement program receives grant

Orange County, Florida, recycling quality improvement program receives grant

The Recycling Partnership awards $193,000 grant to improve county's Think 5 recycling program.

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March 13, 2019

Orange County Board of County Commissioners has approved a grant agreement with The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, to enhance Orange County’s recycling quality improvement program through education, outreach, access and training opportunities.

According to a news release, The Recycling Partnership will award Orange County $193,000 plus an additional $150,000 in staff and resource support. Orange County has agreed to dedicate $30,000 of staff and resources toward advancing the recycling quality improvement program, Think 5.

“Orange County is proud to be selected to receive this funding support from The Recycling Partnership for our recycling efforts,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says. “We’re committed to sustainability in Orange County, and these grant funds will help us better educate our residents on how to properly recycle.”

The county’s recycling quality improvement program started last summer by inspecting recycling carts, tagging and providing feedback to customers on how to recycle right to reduce contamination, such as plastic bags, pizza boxes, clothing and other nonrecyclable items. Orange County residents are encouraged to Think 5: only recycle plastic, metal and glass containers, cardboard and paper. 

“The Recycling Partnership is proud to work with Orange County and the Green Blue Institute to increase recycling in the community by sharing with residents what can and cannot be recycled,” says Jill Martin, The Recycling Partnership’s vice president of technical assistance. “Our goal is to help Orange County have a long-term impact by showing residents that recycling is as easy as throwing things away. When we recycle more, we save money and live, work and play in healthier communities.”

David Gregory, manager of Solid Waste for Orange County Utilities, says the grant will "jump-start" the county's existing program, which will be rolled out to more households in the coming weeks. Moving forward, the county will use “Great Job!” and “Oops!” tags in English and Spanish on recycling carts.

"If people put the wrong things in the cart, it doesn't get recycled, so we need to make sure we have a program to help improve and inform folks how to recycle right," Gregory adds.

Results from this partnership will be shared by Orange County, The Recycling Partnership and Green Blue Institute with other Florida communities at a training workshop late 2019. The overall program is being supported by a grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, a global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world.