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Bonita & Estero Magazine

Lee County Closing In On Statewide Recycling Goal

Aug 02, 2018 05:53PM ● By Kevin
Lee County stacks up pretty nicely against the rest of the state of Florida in terms of going green. The county ranks third in the state with a 74 percent recycling rate, according to data recently released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Counties in the state are aiming to reach a goal of 75 percent by 2020.

In order to reach its current rate, Lee County’s recycling contractor had to pull 19.4 million pounds of trash out of the recycling carts, the Village of Estero posted on its website.

"That’s nearly 10,000 tons of trash that should not have been placed in recycling bins. Removing it cost taxpayers $362,871," the post continues.

The following five materials are the only ones to belong in your recycling cart:
  • Metal Cans are acceptable, including both aluminum and steel
  • Plastic containers labeled No. 1 through No. 7 on the bottom or side. “Container” is the key word; not straws, hangers or pool noodles.
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Cardboard boxes are acceptable unless it held a liquid or a frozen food
  • Papers are accepted unless shredded or soiled
Additionally, everything in the cart needs to be clean and dry, meaning there should not be any food waste caked onto recycled items. Lee County must offer clean materials for sale or 83,000 tons will be sent for disposal rather than be recycled, the post says.

Haulers are getting more stringent about the recycling they will collect, as well.

"Recycling carts that contain plastic bags, which are not recyclable, might be tagged as contaminated and left at the curb," the post says, citing Lee County as a "recycling leader" in Florida since 2002. with a recent campaign to focus on proper recycling.

For more information, visit