Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Florida Students Pledge to Waste Not

Contest encourages recycling and helps Florida achieve new statewide 75 percent recycling goal TALLAHASSEE – In recognition of America Recycles Day on November 15, 2008, Florida students are promising to protect Florida’s environment by committing to recycling as part of the fifth annual Florida (K-12) Schools Recycling Pledge Card Contest. The contest, announced by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Recycle Florida Today, Creative Recycling Systems, Inc. and Publix Super Markets, rewards the three schools that submit the most recycling pledge cards with the chance to win a refurbished computer. “By starting at a young age and getting involved in recycling, students can play a major role in helping Florida achieve its new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent by the year 2020,” said DEP Director of Waste Management Mary Jean Yon. “This contest encourages Florida’s youth to take personal responsibility to manage waste and demonstrate environmental stewardship at school and at home.” Florida’s new 75 percent recycling goal was established in House Bill 7135 known as the Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008. The bill, signed into law by Governor Charlie Crist, also directs DEP to develop a program designed to achieve the 75 percent goal and submit it to the Legislature for approval by January 1, 2010. DEP is encouraging the public to assist in developing this plan and has created a public forum where interested persons can share thoughts, suggestions and comments, as well as view the contributions of other participants. By completing the pledge cards, students and residents are pledging to renew their personal commitment to recycling, but also to go a step beyond increasing their recycling efforts at home, school and work. They are also committing to encourage others to recycle by serving as a recycling example in their neighborhoods, promising to spread the word to five friends that recycling is the easiest way to slow global warming and agreeing to participate in an additional recycling related effort. The three schools with the highest number of pledges will receive a gently used desktop computer, which includes a monitor, courtesy of Creative Recycling Systems, Inc. In addition, each individual who fills out a pledge card will be entered into a statewide drawing for either a $100 gift certificate donated by Recycle Florida Today or one of three gift cards donated by Publix Super Markets. As an added bonus, the teacher or environmental club leader with the most student participation will receive free registration to Recycle Florida Today’s 2009 annual conference. In 2007, more than 86 percent of the 14,000 Floridians who took the pledge to recycle and buy more recycled products through this campaign were elementary, middle and high school students. For more information, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/recycling/AR/2008/ar08.htm. For more information on the new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent, and to share your comments on ways to achieve this goal and view comments from others on our web-based forum, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/recyclinggoal75/.

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