Sustainable Solid Waste Management and Sustainable Consumption has been a long standing goal for not just the City of Miami Beach but for many municipalities. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 34.6 percent of what Americans throw away is recyclable. This relatively moderate percentage could assist reducing approximately 186 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually. Moreover, increasing recycling rates has also been found to help with:
- Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
- Conserving natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
- Preventing pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
- Saving energy
- Sustaining the environment
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Over the last few years, the City of Miami Beach and neighboring municipalities have taken on measures to increase recycling rates and divert as much waste as possible from landfills. Many of these efforts were supplemented in in 1992, when Miami-Dade County (MDC) adopted ordinance 91-123 to facilitate the establishment of recycling programs and encourage recycling activities throughout the county.
In order to accomplish its sustainability goals of reducing waste diversion, greenhouse gas emissions, and improve overall recycling practices, the City of Miami Beach proposed a recycling ordinance mandating that multifamily residences and commercial establishments implement a single-stream recycling program (Single-family homes had an established recycling service for years). The ordinance was adopted in 2012 and during a period of twelve months, the city conducted extensive outreach to inform residents and businesses of the new requirements. The city is committed to improving the overall health of the environment and the community’s sustainability. Through promoting green initiatives, such as recycling, the city will continue to prosper as a world-class city to live, work and play.
The City of Miami Beach is currently in the process of developing a recycling assessment which is expected to be ready in early 2018.