You know, when I think of Florida, I think of pristine beaches and beautiful landscape. I also think of the rich character of the people, the ecology minded, and the recycling habits. I am a middle-aged woman, who was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; who, due to my husband's expertise in the telecom industry, has given me the great opportunity to travel this great country for most of the last decade. Florida has gotten a great chunk of that time. Florida is one of my favorite states. Mostly for the beautiful beaches it has to offer. Before this decade, a great friend of mine and I vacationed here most every year.
At the present time, I have the gift of living in a nice little house in an intercoastal neighborhood of Indian Rocks Beach. We get trash pick up service two times a week, but only get a recycling pick up of newspapers. I also watched on the news, where a beach city was thinking about making recycling mandatory for businesses. Surprisingly, there was controversy. One of the businesses was complaining of having to spend time sorting trash from recyclables. My thought was, put out a recycling can for the patrons to dispose of their recyclables. Not too difficult. Then, I noticed at the beaches, there were plenty of trash receptacles on the beach, but no recycling receptacles. I think they should be side by side. I did notice that around the areas, there were recycling bins, but for the tourist, to which these beaches cater, they weren't easy to seek out. And, really, who on vacation would seek out recycling bins. Time is precious to all people, but, when you are on a limited vacation, there are definitely going to be corners cut.
I have the advantage of not working, and I have found that I even get lazy (especially when it rains) about dragging my recycling down the block, just to find that I can only recycle plastic bottles and newspapers. The newspapers I take to my curb. What about all of the other recyclables? I remember going to San Francisco and the garbage pick up patrons garbage bill was discounted depending on how much they recycled. They picked up all recycling, not just a few items. In San Antonio, we had a 90-gallon recycling bin, which was always full. Most of the time, I had little garbage and overflowing recycling. They didn't discount anything but, it gave me a sense of pride in taking care of my community and taking a part in the ecology of the world. Even in Oklahoma, which is usually mistaken for being behind the times, has a crate that the city supplies for all of the residence that want to participate. They take a variety of recyclables, yet are still limited. I think these items, that are taken to be recycled, are then sold.
So why doesn't Florida make it easier, for the tourists and residents to recycle? There is always a push to recycle, to go green but, why isn't it made easier? Couldn't Florida take the time to make a plan to make recycling easier and more convenient for everyone? Their beaches are a big draw in tourism, and yearly migrations of "snow birds", why not take pride in how the garbage is handled? We have to pay extra for the items that we buy in recyclable containers, then we have to throw them in a landfill? What is the since of that? Where is the pride? And all of the extra money we spend on these? Literally in the trash.
With all of the overpaid government officials, couldn't someone research this? It would give Floridians a real sense of pride and make it easy for them to participate in the betterment of their beaches, community, state, the world's ecology, and easily be able to "go green". The tourists would participate, mostly because they want to continue to visit beautiful beaches, and the shame of not participating and tossing a lonely empty water bottle into the trash would tag them as lazy. I propose the cities of Florida offer recycle bins to every resident. I also propose they offer a compost bin and have a compost pick up. There could be a big compost drum for all of the compostables to be kept in, and the residents of that community can come and take what they need with no charge. If there becomes too much, bag it and sell it to local nurseries or retail stores. There would be very little "garbage" to pick up and it would truly make a statement that Florida wants to be a leader in the "going green" movement that is rapidly spreading throughout the world. The existing sanitation employees could just be redistributed, which in turn gives them a sense of pride to be a part of this movement and not someone whose job is considered a nasty one. This would also keep the landfills at a minimum. Lets keep Florida beautiful. It is too amazingly beautiful not to.
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