The “Feet on the Street” cart tagging and recycling education program is part of Apopka’s efforts to provide tailored curbside recycling feedback to residents to improve the quality and quantity of useful recycling materials

From the City of Apopka

The City of Apopka, in partnership with The Recycling Partnership, is launching a recycling education initiative, “Recycling Anti-Contamination: Feet on the Street.”

The goal of this project is to reduce contamination of recycling in the City’s single stream curbside recycling bins. As part of this initiative, all City residents in the designated project areas will receive an informational mailer on recyclable versus non-recyclables items.

The Recycling Partnership’s Feet on the Street program is intended to increase quality recyclables – items that are acceptable for recycling, such as clean, empty, and dry materials. This way, these items can circulate back into the recycling system to become new products or packaging.

“Recycling is a valuable public service for Apopka residents,” said Mayor Bryan Nelson. “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.”

How it will work

Starting October 14, 2020, crews of tagging teams with MidAtlantic Solid Waste Consultants (MSW) will inspect recycling carts in and around Ariane Hills, Breckenridge, Clear Lake Estates, Clear Lake Landing, Errol Estates, Country Address, Sheeler Oaks, Fisher Plantation, Lake Heiniger, Landings at Rock Springs, Maudehellen, Partnership Hills, Pittman Estates, Rock Springs Estates, Rock Springs Ridge, Wekiva Crest and Woodfield Oaks.

Based on the items found in the recycling cart, residential carts will receive an “Oops Warning!” tag if non-recyclables are found in the cart. Carts given an “Oops-Warning” tag that are found to have non-recyclables in the following pick-up will be given another “Oops” tag, and their cart will be rejected at the curb; the resident’s cart will be picked up on their next recycling pick-up day if the correct items are found in the cart at that time.

Please note that tagging teams conducting curbside inspections of recycling carts have established and will be utilizing COVID-19 cart monitor and office protocols to ensure the safety of both the operators and residents.

“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.”

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.

Tips for recycling in Apopka

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, as well as 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.

Recycling Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not bag recyclables (no garbage)
  • No plastic bags or plastic wrap (return to retail)
  • No food or liquid (empty & dry)
  • No clothing or linens (drop-off only)
  • No Cords, hoses, or chains
  • No tanks, wood, plastic furniture or metal.
  • Household recycling (gray cart) is collected every other Wednesday and is determined by your garbage collection day. Please refer to our Recycling Schedule for current pickup dates. If you need more room for recycling, refer to the “R” program to see your options.

    Recyclable items that ARE accepted

    • Plastic: Bottles and Containers labeled #1 through #5
    • Metal: Tin, aluminum, steel, and empty aerosol cans
    • Glass: Bottles and jars
    • Cardboard: Flattened and corrugated boxes
    • Paper: Newspaper and advertisements, paper bags, junk mail, magazines and catalogs, office/note paper, phone books, cereal/shoe/drink boxes, milk/juice cartons.

    Items that are NOT accepted

    • Plastic Bags
    • Food waste or liquids
    • Pizza boxes or juice pouches
    • Clothing, textiles, or carpet
    • Hazardous materials or electronics
    • Batteries
    • Tires
    • Polystyrene/Styrofoam
    • Plants or yard waste such as bagged or loose grass, leaves, or small branches
    • Hoses
    • Shredded paper
    • Dishes, paper plates, pots, or pans
    • Toys or laundry baskets
    • Gift wrap, ribbon, or bows
    • Hangers (plastic or wire)

    Please Note: Putting other material or trash in your recycling could cause the whole load to be rejected by the recycling processor.

    Additional resources 

    Consumers can look up where to recycle specific materials in their area by zip code by visiting Earth911.com
    To request a current recycling schedule/calendar magnet, please call 407-703-1731.

    The Apopka Youth Council filmed an educational video to help residents become knowledgeable on sustainability in the City of Apopka, which you can find here: http://www.apopka.net/Recycling

Here are samples of first OOPS! Tag (on left), and final OOPS! Tag

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

Funding for Feet on the Street

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 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.

For questions or concerns regarding this initiative, please contact Nicole Kennedy at nkennedy@apopka.net or Josh Robinson at jrobinson@apopka.net or by calling 407-703-1731. 

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.

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