Lee and Charlotte counties top the list for Florida’s best recycling spots

Reporter: Sara Girard
Published: Updated:

Recycling is top of mind for Lee and Charlotte counties. State numbers show they are ahead of the curve.

In 2018, both counties recycled more than 75 percent of their waste. In February, WINK News went to multiple recycling centers in Southwest Florida and saw first hand how much people throw away.

Lee County said of the nearly 2 million tons of waste made in 2018, 1.5 million got recycling credit. That is enough to fill 107 football fields with material 70 feet high, which would reach the tallest point of the Sanibel Island bridge.

MORE: Curbing Your Costs: How recycling right could save you money

While we can all feel good about doing such a great job recycling, we also found outputting the wrong items in your curbside recycle bin ends up creating a big mess. Crews need to spend more time sorting it out, unclogging machines and ultimately, that costs you more money.

“Ultimately, the cost of having to stop that facility ends up at what you and I pay at the curbside because that’s part of the cost of recycling,” said Lorenzo Daetz, Charlotte County Solid Waste.

One of the most common things to clog up machines is plastic bags. The bags cannot be recycled at home. But, there are recycle bins you can take them to stores like Publix or Walmart.

See what can go in your curbside recycle bin in your county:

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