Orlando chosen as pilot city for major recycling project

City set to be home to development of major new recycling initiative

Orange County buildings and landmarks honored the first year after the Pulse shooting on June 12, 2017 by lighting in rainbow colors.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida is teaming up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to create a more sustainable future.

It was announced Thursday that the city of Orlando has been chosen by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to be the home for its Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy pilot project.

According to a press release from the foundation, "The project aims to increase the current 34 percent recycling rate in the United States by providing a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates."

“Orlando is an ideal city to begin the Beyond 34 project,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Its strong private sector engagement, innovative culture, and robust sustainability goals were all factors that contributed to its selection. We look forward to engaging with local leaders throughout the project, and we are confident that Beyond 34 will help support the Orlando area’s mission to advance sustainability and economic growth.”  

The press release cited that Orlando was chosen to be the pilot city of this project due to "its high degree of readiness for recycling and reuse system development, community engagement, project partners, and key relationships."

On the project, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was quoted as saying, "Orlando is committed to reducing our environmental impact and, as a result, we have a goal to become a zero-waste community by 2040. We’re making significant strides toward that commitment by providing our residents and businesses with the tools and strategies necessary to divert more waste from our landfills, including offering weekly recycling collection, quarterly e-waste drives, free backyard composters to residents, and a commercial food waste collection program that is diverting millions of pounds of organic waste per year.”

The specifics of the plan include partnering Orlando's Regional Chamber of Commerce and the city of Orlando with a consulting firm, Resource Recycling Systems, that, "will facilitate development of a recycling business plan for the Orlando region and its stakeholders that keeps high-value recyclable material out of landfills," with the additional goal of, "identify(ing) greater economic reuse opportunities material generated in from commercial, industrial, and residential sources​."

For more information go to https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/beyond-34-recycling-and-recovery-new-economy.