Gainesville Zero Waste Initiative

3 arrows forming a circle around the words Zero Waste Initiative

Overview

The City of Gainesville has set a goal to go Zero Waste by 2040 by supporting policies needed to dramatically reduce waste and encourage citizens to rethink waste material flows. By analyzing the status of our waste reduction and recycling, the City of Gainesville is working to modify existing policies, systems, programs and infrastructure in order to reduce waste and improve diversion opportunities. 

Zero Waste & Recycling Ordinances

Commercial

Single-Use Plastic Straw & Stirrer Ban

EFFECTIVE: 1/1/2020

In an effort to improve our environmental ethic and sustainability practices, the City Commission approved a ban of single-use plastic straws and stirrers by food service providers and retail establishments. Gainesville’s Single-Use Plastic Straw and Stirrer Ban went into effect on January 1, 2020.

sea turtle in the ocean The goal of the city is to replace these items with reusable, recyclable, or compostable alternatives. Plastic straws and stirrers are not biodegradable and can end up in our waterways potentially harming marine wildlife. Plastic straws and stirrers remain intact or break down into smaller pieces of plastics (Microplastics) which can be consumed by sea animals, fish, and birds.

This ban includes straws made from “biologically-based polymers” (e.g., “PLA” or “PHA” materials). Products made from biologically-based polymers are often deceptively advertised as compostable or made from plants. These products can have the same damaging effects on our environment since they don’t break down naturally.

Acceptable single-use alternatives include paper, bamboo, and wheat products.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 5, Sec. 27-90.(PDF, 3MB))

Commercial Recycling Ordinance

EFFECTIVE: 1/1/1997

recycling arrows All commercially-collected waste generators in the City of Gainesville are required to recycle designated materials as specified by the City’s Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance. Commercially-collected generators includes but is not limited to, businesses such as hotels, motels, restaurants, bars, retail stores, offices, institutions, apartments, and condominiums.

The City of Gainesville’s Solid Waste Division is available to help businesses fulfill the requirements of the Mandatory Commercial Recycling Ordinance. Solid Waste Division professionals are available to provide technical assistance in starting up recycling programs, reaching compliance with the ordinance, and a listing of commercial service providers.

Any business generating 15% or more by volume of the following designated recyclable materials in their waste stream are required to separate and recycle these materials.

Containers:

  • Metal Cans (steel and aluminum)
  • Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Plastic Bottles, Jugs & Jars

Papers:

  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Paperboard
  • Newspaper, Magazines, Catalogs, Manuals, Paper Bags, Phone Books, & Paperback Books
  • Office Paper (including shredded paper) & Junk Mail (unwanted mail)

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.(PDF, 3MB))

Single-Use Plastic Food Accessories By Request Only

EFFECTIVE: 9/2/2022

single use plastic food accessories by request only with plastic utensils, condiment packets and portion cups Prepared food providers shall not provide single-use plastic food accessories (such as plastic utensils, condiment packets, portion cups) for dine-in, take-out or delivery, unless the single-use food accessory is specifically requested by the customer or is provided at a customer self-serve station.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 5, Sec. 27-91.(PDF, 3MB))

Public Litter Receptacles

EFFECTIVE: 9/2/2022

Place an equal number of recycling receptacles for the collection of bottles and cans next to the garbage receptacles; and, Must integrate labeling consisting of text and images on the body or adjacent to the opening of the container that is consistent with City provided samples(PDF, 539KB) provided by the solid waste division.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 1, Sec. 27-75.e. & Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.e.2.(PDF, 3MB))

Commercial Collection Frequency (Food Service Establishments)

CURRENT - All Commercial-collected waste generators not serviced by a compacting dumpster are required to receive garbage collection service no less than once per week. When necessary to protect the public health or to enforce the purpose of this article, the city manager or designee shall have the authority to stipulate the frequency of collection.

EFFECTIVE 9/2/2022 - Restaurants, Bars, Grocery Stores & Other Food Service Establishments - Commercial-collected waste generators not serviced by a compacting dumpster are required to receive garbage collection service no less than 4 days per week if open 7 days a week, and no less than 3 days per week if open 6 days a week.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 1, Sec. 27-75.b.(PDF, 3MB))

Commercial Food Waste Collection

EFFECTIVE: 6/1/2023

Commercial establishments that generate one cubic yard of food waste or more per week shall separate food waste from the waste stream and collect food waste in containers that are separate from garbage and recovered materials.

OPTIONS:

  1. Proof of valid current contract with a food waste registrant collector; or
  2. Provide receipt for delivery of food waste to a food waste processing facility that meets permitting requirements of the State of Florida.

(Ordinance No. 200381, Ch. 27, Div. 6.(PDF, 780KB))

Commercial Food Waste Diversion

EFFECTIVE: 6/1/2023

EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy upside down pyramid Food retailers that occupy at least 25,000 sq. ft. (including but not limited to grocery stores, convenience stores, meat markets, poultry markets, fish and related aquatic food markets, and produce markets) shall divert food or food waste from the waste stream following the hierarchy below (listed in order of priority):

  1. Feeding hungry people;
  2. Feeding animals;
  3. Providing for industrial uses; and/or
  4. Composting.

EFFECTIVE: 1/1/2024

Food service establishments that occupy at least 4,500 sq. ft., businesses with a commercial kitchen(s) where the kitchen(s) occupies at least1,000 sq. ft., businesses engaged in selling food to other businesses, food manufacturers (excluding food service establishments) engaged in processing or fabricating food products from raw materials for sale directly to the public, retailers, or wholesalers shall divert food or food waste from the waste stream following the hierarchy below (listed in order of priority):

  1. Feeding hungry people;
  2. Feeding animals;
  3. Providing for industrial uses; and/or
  4. Composting.

(Ordinance No. 210626, Ch. 27, Div. 7.(PDF, 196KB))

Prescription Take Back

EFFECTIVE: 6/1/2023

green prescription medication disposal container Pharmacies are to provide on-site publicly accessible containers for the destruction of prescription medicines or drugs within 20 feet of the location where prescription drugs are dispensed.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.h.(PDF, 3MB))

Shared Commercial Service

EFFECTIVE: 9/2/2022

Property owners shall provide commercial establishment tenants with space for commercial service containers for garbage and recycling collection or make reasonable accommodations for shared commercial service containers for garbage and recycling collection in a convenient and nearby location. The commercial service containers should be located such that collection equipment can safely collect waste within the commercial service containers and such that the location of the commercial service containers does not create a health or litter hazard due to the distance from the tenant’s commercial establishment. If the property owner is unable to meet the above requirement, the property owner shall cooperate with the city to develop an acceptable alternative plan for the collection of waste from the tenant, with the city making the final determination as to the location of the commercial service container.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.e.3(PDF, 3MB))

Multi-family

Recycling at Multi-family Properties

EFFECTIVE: 1/1/1997, 1/1/2023 & 10/1/2023

Multi-Family Residential Properties must establish a recycling program that:

  1. Include recycling of all designated recyclable materials (Corrugated Cardboard, Paperboard, Newspaper & Magazines, Office Paper, Metal Cans, Glass Bottles & Jars, and Plastic Bottles, Jugs & Jars)
  2. Recycling must be as convenient and accessible to residents as garbage collection (effective 1/1/2023).
  3. Provide an adequate level of service and capacity of designated recyclable collection containers (effective 1/1/2023)..
  4. Post and maintain recycling educational signs in common areas where recyclables are collected (effective 1/1/2023)..
  5. Distribute recycling information to all tenants at least once annually and to all new tenants on move-in (effective 1/1/2023).
  6. Provide at least one indoor recycle storage container per unit (effective 10/1/2023).

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.i.(PDF, 3MB))

Collection Frequency at Multi-family Properties

CURRENT - Commercial-collected residential waste generators not serviced by a compacting dumpster are required to receive garbage collection service no less than once per week. Commercial-collected residential waste generators must arrange for items such as furniture, appliances, construction and demolition debris or any material not considered a part of the customer's normal collection service to be picked up within seven days of being placed for collection.

EFFECTIVE 9/2/2022 - Commercial-collected residential waste generators not serviced by a compacting dumpster, are required to receive garbage collection service no less than twice per week. Commercial-collected residential waste generators must arrange for items such as furniture, appliances, construction and demolition debris or any material not considered a part of the customer's normal collection service to be picked up within seven days of being placed for collection.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 1, Sec. 27-75.b.(PDF, 3MB))

Lease Transition Plan (Reuse Plan) at Multi-family Properties

EFFECTIVE: 7/1/2023 for properties with 200 or more units, 1/1/2025 for properties with 50 or more units

Multi-Family Residential Properties must submit a Lease Transition Plan (a.k.a., Reuse Plan) to divert usable and functioning household goods, furnishings, and electronics, and recyclable cardboard resulting from the high volume move-in and move-out periods. Reuse Plans are to be submitted to the City of Gainesville's Solid Waste Division.

 At a minimum this plan must contain:

  1. Notice to tenants at least one month in advance of move-out period with donation information.
  2. Location of donation collection site.
  3. Weather protection plan.
  4. Identity the local reuse organization that will accept donated goods.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.j.(PDF, 3MB))

Public Litter Receptacles

EFFECTIVE: 9/2/2022

Place an equal number of recycling receptacles for the collection of bottles and cans next to the garbage receptacles; and, Must integrate labeling consisting of text and images on the body or adjacent to the opening of the container that is consistent with City provided samples(PDF, 539KB) provided by the solid waste division.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 1, Sec. 27-75.e. & Ch. 27, Div. 3, Sec. 27-85.e.2.(PDF, 3MB))

Food Waste Collection at Multi-family Properties

EFFECTIVE: 6/1/2024

All commercially-collected residential serviced property owners/developers and their affiliated entities, including but not limited to landlords, management companies, condominium associations, and home owner associations shall establish a food waste collection program that:

(a)  Includes collection and diversion of food waste from the waste stream. 

(b)  Provides an industry standard food waste container in a common area on the property that is as convenient and accessible to the residents as garbage and recovered materials collection containers. 

(c)  Provides an adequate level of service and capacity of food waste collection containers based on the number of residents, units, or generation at the property.

(d) Prominently posts and maintains one or more signs in common areas where food waste is collected that specify the materials accepted as food waste;

(e) Distribute food waste collection information to all tenants at least once annually and to all new tenants on move-in.

(f) Provide at least one indoor recycle storage container per unit.

(Ordinance No. 210626, Ch. 27, Div. 7.(PDF, 196KB))

Others

Expanded Polystyrene Containers (Foam Containers) Ban on City Property

EFFECTIVE: 9/2/2022

foam containers banned Bans the distribution of prepackaged food or beverages in expanded polystyrene (foam containers) by a permit holder on City of Gainesville property or the City of Gainesville right-of-way.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 5, Sec. 27-92.(PDF, 3MB))

Ban on the Intentional Release Outdoors of Plastic Confetti, Glitter or Balloons

pink balloon released All persons are prohibited from intentionally releasing outdoors any plastic confetti, glitter or balloons within the City of Gainesville.

Consistent with Section 379.233, Florida Statutes, the following balloon releases are exempt from the above prohibition:

(a) balloons released by a person on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract for scientific or meteorological purposes;

(b) hot air balloons that are recovered after launching; or

(c) balloons that are either biodegradable or photodegradable, as determined by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and which are closed by a hand-tied knot in the stem of the balloon without string, ribbon, or other attachments. The party responsible for the release shall make available evidence of the biodegradability or photodegradability of said balloons in the form of a certificate executed by the manufacturer. Failure to provide said evidence shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this act.

(Ordinance No. 210129, Ch. 27, Div. 5, Sec. 27-93.(PDF, 3MB))

 

Zero Waste Ordinance FAQs 

Single-Use Straws and Stirrers Ban

What constitutes “single-use” plastic straws or stirrers?

Single-use straws are disposable tubes used for the purposes of consuming beverages that are intended for one-time only use. Single-use plastic stirrers are devices used to mix beverages that are intended for one-time only use.

Both items are made predominantly of plastic derived from petroleum polymers or biologically based polymers.

Why was this ordinance adopted?

The city's goal is to replace these items with reusable, recyclable, or compostable alternatives. Plastic straws and stirrers are not biodegradable and can end up in our waterways, potentially harming marine wildlife. Plastic straws and stirrers remain intact or break down into smaller pieces of plastics (Microplastics) which can be consumed by sea animals, fish, and birds.

When did the single-use plastic straws and stirrers ban take effect?

Enforcement of this ordinance went into effect on 1/1/2020.

Can food service providers or retailers sell single-use plastic straws?

Food service providers are not permitted to sell or use these items.

Retail establishments can sell prepackaged beverages with a single-use plastic straw (e.g., juice boxes) and boxes of prepackaged single-use plastic straws or single-use plastic stirrers offered for retail sale to a consumer for personal use.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

While discontinuation of all use of single-use plastic straws and stirrers is strongly encouraged, this ordinance does not specifically apply to:

  • Persons with disabilities;
  • Prepackaged beverages with a single-use plastic straw (e.g., juice boxes);
  • Boxes of prepackaged single-use plastic straws or single-use plastic stirrers that are offered for retail sale to a consumer for personal use; or
  • Medical facilities, dental facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities.

What about special event vendors?

Any special event permittees or any vendor operating under a city permit will not be permitted to sell, use or provide single-use plastic straws and stirrers.

Are compostable polymer straws an acceptable alternative?

Currently, the only acceptable single-use alternatives to plastic straws are paper, bamboo, and wheat products. Bio-polymer straws can still pose a danger to wildlife, as they rarely fully decompose (break down) in the environment.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $150.00 per occurrence or per day.

Commercial Recycling Ordinance

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To protect the public health, safety, and welfare of city residents, visitors, and future generations by increasing waste diversion and to protect our environment.

When did the Commercial Recycling Ordinance take effect?

The city’s commercial recycling ordinance has been mandatory and enforced since 1/1/1997. Additions to this ordinance were approved on 6/2/2022, and enforcement of the additions to the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Are there any exemptions to this ordinance?

Any business determined to be generating less than 15% or more by volume of the designated recyclable materials in their waste stream would be exempt from this ordinance.

What are the designated recyclables?

Containers: Metal Cans (steel and aluminum); Glass Bottles & Jars; and Plastic Bottles, Jugs & Jars

Papers: Corrugated Cardboard; Paperboard; Newspaper, Magazines, Catalogs, Manuals, Paper Bags, Phone Books, & Paperback Books; and Office Paper (including shredded paper) & Junk Mail (unwanted mail)

What about recycling special events?

The city’s commercial recycling ordinance includes the commercial collection of materials from events, fairs, and festivals.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected generator can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that the volume of designated recyclable materials generated is de minimus or space is not available at a given property for additional container placement. Each exemption request must be completed and submitted every six months using forms provided by the city. The commercially-collected generator shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether its exemption request is granted or denied.

A commercial establishment may appeal the imposition of a surcharge to the city manager or designee within 15 calendar days of such imposition. The notice of appeal shall include all information and grounds the commercial generator wants to be considered by the city manager or designee as to why the surcharge should not be imposed. The city manager or designee shall have 15 calendar days to affirm or abate the surcharge. The determination of the city manager or designee shall be final.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Single-Use Plastic Food Accessories By Request Only

What is a single-use plastic food accessory?

Single-use plastic food accessory means any item made predominantly of plastic and provided for one-time use with prepared food and beverages used for dine-in, take-out, or delivery. Single-use plastic food accessories include items such as utensils, chopsticks, condiment packets, plastic portion cups, and other similar accessories.

Why was this ordinance adopted?

This ordinance aims to reduce the wasteful practice of providing unwanted and unneeded extra single-use plastic items that can result in increased litter and harm our environment.

When will the single-use plastic food accessories by request only ordinance take effect?

This ordinance was approved on 6/2/2022, but a three-month implementation period is in effect that will allow establishments the opportunity to educate employees and modify operating procedures to comply with the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

Single-use plastic food accessories can be provided when specifically requested by a customer and provided at a customer self-service station within the establishment.

Also, items provided to prevent spills and injuries, such as coffee spill plugs, splash sticks, cup lids, cup sleeves, and cup trays, are not considered single-use plastic food accessories under this ordinance.

Are there alternative products that can be used in place of plastic items?

Absolutely. Food establishments that replace plastic accessories with eco-friendly biodegradable and compostable alternatives may continue to automatically provide items with orders without the customer having to request the items. For example, replacing plastic spoons for to-go soup orders with spoons made from corn starch or replacing plastic salad dressing portion cups for to-go salad orders with compostable paper cups for the salad dressing.

Please note, plastic straw alternatives are limited to only paper, bamboo, and wheat products.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $150.00 per occurrence or per day.

Public Litter Receptacles

What is a public litter receptacle?

Any receptacle placed out for public, customer, or employee use at a commercial establishment for the collection and disposal of garbage, recyclables, or food waste.

What are the requirements for public litter receptacles?

For each indoor and outdoor public garbage collection receptacle provided by a commercial establishment must be paired with a recycling collection receptacle.

Garbage and recycling receptacles used by the public or employees at the commercial establishment must integrate labeling consisting of text and images on the body or adjacent to the opening of the container that is consistent with city provided samples(PDF, 539KB).

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To encourage the public to recycle by requiring additional recycling collection containers to be placed next to garbage containers at commercial establishments and requiring labeling for solid waste containers.

When will the public litter receptacle ordinance take effect?

This ordinance was approved on 6/2/2022, but a three-month implementation period is in effect that will allow establishments the opportunity to educate employees and modify operating procedures to comply with the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If a commercial establishment cannot meet the requirements to provide an equal number of garbage and recycling receptacles, the commercial establishment shall cooperate with the city to develop an acceptable alternative plan for the placement of recycling receptacles. The city will make the final determination based on the recycling materials produced at the establishment and the available space for receptacle placement at the commercial establishment.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Commercial Collection Frequency (Food Service Establishments)

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To improve the health, safety, welfare, and aesthetics of the nearby community by requiring more frequent collection from certain commercial establishments and commercially-collected residential properties and requiring property owners to provide adequate space for commercial tenants to dispose of solid waste. Larger volumes of garbage left uncollected can result in odor and pest control problems.

Food service establishments often produce a lot of food and food contaminated waste, and dumpsters can quickly become overfilled. When left uncollected in our Florida heat for several days, this waste often can lead to odor control issues in and around dumpster collection areas. The odors from uncollected waste often attract rodents and scavenger animals that will break open garbage bags in dumpsters.

dumpsters with bird problems and overflowing problems

When will the commercial collection frequency change for food service establishments take effect?

This ordinance was approved on 6/2/2022, but a three-month implementation period is in effect that will allow establishments the opportunity to educate employees and modify operating procedures to comply with the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If a commercial establishment cannot meet the requirements of this ordinance, the commercial establishment shall cooperate with the city to develop an acceptable collection plan. The city will make the final determination based on the location, type of waste generated, and the volume of waste generated at the commercial establishment.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $100.00 per occurrence or per day.

Commercial Food Waste Collection

What is commercial food waste?

Commercial food waste shall mean food that is no longer edible or fit for human or animal consumption, nonedible parts of food, or food soiled paper, resulting from food production, preparation, and consumption activities generated from a food service establishment.

Why was this ordinance adopted?

This ordinance is necessary to achieve the waste reduction goals of the city by ensuring maximum processing of food waste. Diverting food waste from the waste stream reduces greenhouse gases like methane from being generated when food waste breaks down in landfills. Far fewer greenhouse gases are produced when food waste is processed through composting, and nutrients are returned to the soil or provided in a finished compost product.

When will the commercial food waste collection ordinance take effect?

Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 6/1/2023.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the food service establishment is unable to meet the requirement of this ordinance, the food waste establishment shall work with the city to develop an acceptable alternative plan for the collection of food waste, with the city making the final determination as to the location of the commercial service container.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Commercial Food Waste Diversion

What is commercial food waste diversion?

Food waste diversion, also known as food recovery, prevents surplus food stuffs from going into the waste stream (garbage). Food waste diversion can be achieved through different forms and can provide various social, economic, and environmental benefits. The highest form of food diversion involves collecting wholesome but unused or unsalable food for distribution to those in need. Food waste diversion reduces waste and decreases resource burden by collecting excess food for use in animal feed, industrial uses (e.g., biofuel production), and composting.

Why was this ordinance adopted?

Diverting edible food and wasted food to higher purposes provides direct and substantial benefits. Food diversion programs provide nutritious meals for hungry people in our community, minimize the environmental burden associated with agricultural production, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Will it cost more to implement a food diversion program?

The cost of implementing a food diversion program can easily be offset by reduced disposal costs now that less waste material is generated. Food waste diversion programs also allow businesses to be socially responsible in a noncontroversial way, introduce sustainable practices, and garner goodwill within the community and customers.

Are there legal risks for businesses to give away food?

No. Robust statutory protections for good faith donations (Federal Bill Emerson Act) of apparently wholesome foods exist to protect and encourage those with excess but edible food to donate to organizations that feed the hungry. These laws eliminate the risk of liability for negligence claims associated with food donation.

When will the commercial food waste diversion ordinance take effect?

Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 1/1/2024.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected generator demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that it is unable to comply due to lack of available service providers or facilities that accept food or food waste. Each exemption request must be completed every six months and submitted using forms provided by the city. Commercial generators shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether their exemption request is granted or denied.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation.

Prescription Take Back

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To provide residents and visitors a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs and reduce the potential for drug misuse by requiring retail commercial establishments that dispense prescription drugs to have a prescription drug take back program. Improperly discarded medications can harm people and the environment.

When will the prescription take back ordinance take effect?

Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 6/1/2023.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

No.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Shared Commercial Service

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To improve the community's health, safety, welfare, and aesthetics and ensure that each commercial establishment has convenient access to solid waste services (garbage, recycling, food waste composting, etc.) by requiring property owners to provide adequate space for commercial tenants to dispose of solid waste.

When will the shared commercial service ordinance take effect?

This ordinance was approved on 6/2/2022, but a three-month implementation period is in effect that will allow establishments the opportunity to educate employees and modify operating procedures to comply with the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the property owner is unable to meet the requirement of this ordinance, the property owner shall cooperate with the city to develop an acceptable alternative plan for the collection of waste from the tenant, with the city making the final determination as to the location of the commercial service container.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Multi-family Residential Property Recycling

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To improve and encourage the collection of recyclable materials at commercially-collected residential properties by requiring commercially-collected residential properties to provide information regarding recycling and make recycling separation and disposal convenient and accessible for tenants.

When will the multi-family residential property recycling ordinance take effect?

The city’s commercial-collected residential property recycling ordinance has been mandatory and enforced since 1/1/1997. Additions to this ordinance were approved on 6/2/2021 and enforcement of the additions to the ordinance will go into effect on 1/1/2023.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected residential property can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that space is not available at a given property for additional container placement. Each exemption request must be completed and submitted every six months using forms provided by the city. The commercially-collected residential property shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether its exemption request is granted or denied.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Commercial Collection Frequency (Multi-family Properties)

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To improve the health, safety, welfare, and aesthetics of the nearby community by requiring more frequent collection from commercially-collected residential properties and requiring property owners to provide adequate space for commercial tenants to dispose of solid waste. Larger volumes of garbage left uncollected can result in odor and pest control problems.

When will the commercial collection frequency ordinance at multi-family properties take effect?

This ordinance was approved on 6/2/2022, but a three-month implementation period is in effect that will allow establishments the opportunity to educate employees and modify operating procedures to comply with the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If a commercially-collected residential property cannot meet the requirements of this ordinance, the commercial establishment shall cooperate with the city to develop an acceptable collection plan. The city will make the final determination based on the location, type of waste generated, and the volume of waste generated at the commercially-collected residential property.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $100.00 per occurrence or per day.

Food Waste Collection at Multi-family Properties

Why was this ordinance adopted?

This ordinance is necessary to achieve the waste reduction goals of the city by ensuring maximum processing of food waste. Diverting food waste from the waste stream reduces greenhouse gases like methane from being generated when food waste breaks down in landfills. Far fewer greenhouse gases are produced when food waste is processed through composting, and nutrients are returned to the soil or provided in a finished compost product.

When multi-family properties be required to have food waste collection services?

Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 6/1/2024.

Are there any exemptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected residential property demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that space is not available at a given property for additional container placement or provides proof that the commercially-collected residential property is unable to comply due to lack of available service providers. Each exemption request must be completed and submitted every six months using forms provided by the city. The commercially-collected residential property shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether its exemption request is granted or denied.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation.

Lease Transition Plan (Reuse Plan for Multi-family Properties)

What is a lease transition plan?

A lease transition plan (reuse plan) is a written proposal be developed by each commercially-collected residential property to divert from the landfill waste stream usable and functioning household goods, furnishings, and electronics, and recyclable cardboard resulting from the high volume move-in and move-out periods that occur April 20 – May 15 and July 20 - August 25 of each year.

Why was this ordinance adopted?

To reduce disposition of functional household goods, funishings, electronics and recyclable cardboard at landfills by requiring larger commercially-collected properties to have lease transition plans to divert these materials from the waste stream during high volume move-in and move-out periods typical of housing geared toward students tenants.

When will the lease transition ordinance plan at multi-family properties take effect?

Enforcement of this ordinance will begin on 7/1/2023 for commercially-collected residential properties with at least 200 leased units located within designated areas and will begin on 1/1/2025 for commercially-collected residential properties with at least 500 leased units located within designated areas.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

If the commercially-collected residential property demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that the volume of designated recyclable materials generated is de minimus or space is not available at a given property for additional container placement. Each exemption request must be completed and submitted every six months using forms provided by the city. The commercially-collected residential property shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether its exemption request is granted or denied.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Expanded Polystyrene Containers (Foam Containers) Ban on City Property

What is an expanded polystyrene container?

An expanded polystyrene (foam products commonly known as Styrofoam®) container means any plate, bowl, cup, container, lid, tray, cooler, ice chest, and similar items that are made of blown polystyrene and expanded and extruded foams that are thermoplastic petrochemical materials utilizing a styrene monomer and manufactured by fusion of polymer spheres (expandable bead foam), injection molding, foam molding and extrusion-blown molding (extruded foam polystyrene) or any other technique.

Why was this ordinance adopted?

The city's goal is to minimize the use of these items by replacing them with reusable, recyclable, or compostable alternatives on city property and prevent foam products from entering and harming our environment. Expanded polystyrene is not biodegradable, meaning it does not naturally degrade over time and often breaks down into smaller pieces that pollute the land and waters, which pose threats to wildlife and make cleanup efforts more difficult.

When will the foam containers ban on city property take effect?

This ordinance was approved on 6/2/2022, but a three-month implementation period is in effect that will allow establishments the opportunity to educate employees and modify operating procedures to comply with the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

This prohibition excludes: (1) Foam items brought onto city property by individual visitors from off-site sources; (2) the distribution of any prepackaged food that is filled and sealed in an expanded polystyrene container before receipt by the vendor (person or entity); and (3) raw meat or seafood that is stored in an expanded polystyrene container and sold from a refrigerated display or storage case.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $125.00 per occurrence or per day.

Bans the Intentional Release Outdoors of Plastic Confetti, Glitter, or Balloons

Why was this ordinance adopted?

When released into our environment, plastic confetti, glitter, and balloons are detrimental. These items don’t fully degrade and introduce unsafe chemicals into our environment. Additionally, these materials become litter in our streets, parks, public places, and waterways. Plastic confetti, glitter, and balloons also consistently create hazards to aquatic and land animals when ingested.

When will the intentional release outdoors of plastic confetti, glitter, or balloons take effect?

This ordinance was approved on 6/2/2022, but a three-month implementation period is in effect that will allow individuals and establishments the opportunity to become educated about the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance will go into effect on 9/2/2022.

Is it illegal for retailers to sell or for individuals to possess plastic confetti, glitter, or balloons?

No. This ban is only on the intentional release outdoors of these items. The release indoors of these items is not prohibited.

Does this include foil or mylar balloons?

Yes, as the base material in these balloon types is a plastic derivative.

Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?

Consistent with Section 379.233, Florida Statutes, the following balloon releases are exempt from the above prohibition:

(a) balloons released by a person on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract for scientific or meteorological purposes;

(b) hot air balloons that are recovered after launching; or

(c) balloons that are either biodegradable or photodegradable, as determined by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and which are closed by a hand-tied knot in the stem of the balloon without string, ribbon, or other attachments. The party responsible for the release shall make available evidence of the biodegradability or photodegradability of said balloons in the form of a certificate executed by the manufacturer. Failure to provide said evidence shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this act.

What about for special events?

No. There is no exemption for special events.

What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?

The city may enforce this article by a civil citation of $250.00 per occurrence or per day.

 

Zero Waste & Recycling Glossary

Zero Waste

Anaerobic Digestion

A process in which microorganisms break down organic materials such as food scraps, manure and sewage sludge, done in the absence of oxygen.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen that should only be handled by licensed asbestos abatement professionals. There is no way to visually know if a product contains asbestos. New and older homes may contain asbestos in roofing and flooring materials, shingles, drywall, ductwork, plumbing, fireplace materials, and corrugated sheets. The best way to handle, dispose of and recycle asbestos is to hire licensed asbestos abatement professionals. To learn more about how asbestos is recycled and how professionals safely handle and dispose of asbestos-containing materials, visit Asbestos.com.

Biodegradable

Organic material that can be converted into basic compounds or elements by bacteria.

Compost

Process by which food scraps from a home or business are disposed of naturally to produce toxin-free and nutrient-rich fertilizer for gardening and other uses. Compost reduces your solid waste output and can save money on your garbage bill. Composting is Nature’s way of recycling. Compost is a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land. EPA DEFINITION: The relatively stable humus material that is produced from a composting process in which bacteria in soil mixed with garbage and degradable trash break down the mixture into organic fertilizer.

Compostable

Capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site as part of an available program, such that the material is not visually distinguishable and breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials.

Compostable Plastic

A plastic that undergoes degradation by biological processes during composting to yield CO2, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate consistent with other known compostable materials and leave no visible, distinguishable or toxic residue.

Construction & Demolition Debris (C&D)

Construction & Demolition (C&D) debris is building materials and solid waste from construction, deconstruction, remodeling, repair, cleanup or demolition operations, in some cases these materials can be reused.

Food Diversion

Food waste diversion, also known as food recovery, is preventing surplus food stuffs from going into the waste stream (garbage). Food waste diversion can be achieved through different forms and can provide various social, economic, and environmental benefits. The highest form of food diversion involves collecting wholesome but unused or unsalable food for distribution to those in need. It is also possible to reduce waste and decrease resource burden by collecting excess food for use in animal feed, industrial uses (e.g., biofuel production), and composting.

Food Service Establishment

Food service establishment means any place where food is prepared and intended for individual portion service, and includes the site at which individual portions are provided. The term includes any such place regardless of whether consumption is on or off the premises and regardless of whether there is a charge for the food.

The term includes delicatessens that offer prepared food in individual service portions. The term does not include schools, institutions, fraternal organizations, private homes where food is prepared or served for individual family consumption, retail food stores, the location of food vending machines, cottage food operations, and supply vehicles, nor does the term include a research and development test kitchen limited to the use of employees and which is not open to the general public.

Food Waste

Food waste means food that is no longer edible or fit for human or animal consumption, nonedible parts of food, or food soiled paper, resulting from food production, preparation, and consumption activities of animals and humans that consists of, but not limited to, vegetables, grains, animal products and byproducts, that have known compostable potential and can be separated from the solid waste stream.

Food Waste or “food scraps” primarily consists of organic material discarded during the preparation or cooking of food or refers to uneaten food from residences and commercial establishments. For example, food trimmings such as the fat off meats and the nonedible parts of foods like watermelon rinds, banana peels, and peanut shells. Food Waste also includes leftover or partially consumed foods such as pizza crusts or apple cores. Items that are no longer safe for humans to eat, such as moldy bread or spoiled milk, are classified as food waste as well. Most food waste maintains the potential to be composted when separated from the garbage stream.

Grasscycling

Source reduction activity in which grass clippings are left on the lawn after mowing.

Hauler

Garbage or recycle collection company that offers complete refuse removal service.

Hazardous Waste

A product in a home (household hazardous waste) or business that is ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic (e.g. used motor oil, oil-based paint, auto batteries, gasoline, pesticides, etc.). These products are damaging to the environment if disposed of improperly. Many of these products have eco-friendly alternatives.

Land Clearing Debris

Trees, stumps, branches, or other wood generated from clearing land for commercial or residential development, road construction, routine landscaping, agricultural land clearing, storms, or natural disasters.

Landfill

Sanitary landfills are disposal sites for non-hazardous solid wastes spread in layers, compacted to the smallest practical volume, and covered by material applied at the end of each operating day.

Leachate

Water that collects contaminants as it trickles through wastes, pesticides or fertilizers. Leaching may occur in farming areas, feedlots, and landfills, and may result in hazardous substances entering surface water, ground water, or soil.

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is the total waste generated by residents, businesses, and institutions.

Organic Materials

Organic materials shall mean yard waste, vegetative waste, food waste, non-recyclable paper, or other materials that have known compostable potential, can be feasibly composted and can be diverted and source separated or removed from the solid waste stream, whether or not the materials require subsequent processing or separation.

Polylactic Acid (PLA)

Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a biodegradable, thermoplastic, aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources. Corn starch (in the U.S.) or sugarcanes are the common feedstock.

Reuse

Using a product or component of municipal solid waste in its original form more than once; e.g., refilling a glass bottle that has been returned or using a coffee can to hold nuts and bolts.

Sustainability

Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Waste Stream

The total flow of solid waste from homes, businesses, institutions and manufacturing plants that is recycled, burned or disposed of in landfills, often broken into different waste stream types.

Wasted Food

Wasted Food generally refers to food fit for human consumption but goes to waste before it can be eaten. Estimates are that 14% of all food produced globally never makes it to consumers. This loss can occur during the processing, transporting, preparing, and storing of food from field to market. However, by far the greatest amount of Wasted Food comes from our own kitchens in the form of food spoilage resulting from buying more food than needed. Other Wasted Food includes lower-grade produce such as bruised peaches or unusually shaped (“ugly”) vegetables that go uneaten. Also, packaged food past their sell dates and excess prepared foods are identified as Wasted Food. Much of this Wasted Food could be diverted to help feed needy families or put to better uses rather than sent to landfills.

Zero Waste

Zero Waste principles recognize a Hierarchy of Material Management in the following order from most preferred to least preferred:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility and Product Redesign
  • Reduce Waste, Toxicity, Consumption, and Packaging
  • Repair, Reuse, and Donate
  • Recycle
  • Compost
  • Down Cycle and Beneficial Reuse
  • Waste-Based Energy as disposal
  • Landfill Waste as disposal

*Definition above adopted by the US Conference of Mayors

Recycling

Aluminum Bottles & Cans (UBC)

Used Beverage Containers (UBC) refers to recovered aluminum beverage bottles and cans.

Bailer

A piece of equipment used to bind a compacted cube or block of recyclable material, such as cardboard.

Compactor

A type of equipment that uses pressure to compress materials into a dense mass.

Compostable

Capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site as part of an available program, such that the material is not visually distinguishable and breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials.

Contamination

Any material, substance or object that decreases the value of your materials or make them non-recyclable.

Corrugated Cardboard (OCC)

Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) or Old Corrugated Containers includes recovered corrugated cardboard boxes.

Electronics Recycling

Unwanted electronic items are commonly referred to as electronic recycling or electronics waste. Many states have outlawed throwing e-recycle waste in the trash because it contains hazardous materials.

Hauler

Garbage or recycle collection company that offers complete refuse removal service.

Markets

The businesses who accept recyclable materials for reuse or processing, either for their own consumption or for resale.

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is a facility that processes collected mixed recyclables into new products available for market.

Mixed Glass

Recovered container glass not sorted into categories (e.g., by color such as amber, green, and clear).

Mixed Paper (MP)

Mixed Paper (MP) recovered paper or various qualities not sorted into categories such as old magazines, old newspapers, old corrugated boxes, etc.

Mixed Plastic

Recovered plastic unsorted by category.

Newspaper (ONP)

Old Newsprint (ONP) is recovered newspapers and newspaper inserts.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Metals not containing iron or its alloys or compounds. Copper, brass, bronze, aluminum bronze, lead, pewter, zinc and other metals to which a magnet will not adhere.

Non-Rigid Plastics

Lighter weight plastic products that give in easily when squeezed, such as clear clamshell containers, microwavable trays, to-go cups, and thermoformed product packaging materials.

Post-Consumer

A term used to describe material that is being reused/recycled after it has been in the consumer’s hands (e.g., a newspaper going back to the paper mill to be recycled into new recycled content paper products). Material or product used by the consumer for its original purpose and then discarded.

Pre-Consumer

A term used to describe material that is being reused/recycled before it ever goes to market (e.g., paper scraps off of a paper mill floor going back into the next batch of paper). Waste material generated during the manufacturing process.

Recyclable

Recovered materials and products that can be collected and remanufactured into new products after they’ve been used. These products do not necessarily contain recycled materials and only benefit the environment if people recycle them after use.

Recycled-content

Products are made from materials that would otherwise have been discarded. That means these products are made totally or partially from material contained in the products you recycle, like aluminum soda cans or newspaper. Recycled-content products also can be items that are rebuilt or re-manufactured from used products such as toner cartridges or computers.

Resin Identification Code (RIC)

Resin Identification Code (RIC) is a number-based coding system placed on plastics to identify the polymer for purposes of recycling, but does not necessarily denote an item as recyclable within a given community.

#1 – Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) a plastic resin used to make packaging and soda bottles (also called PETE)
#2 – High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) a resin used to make packaging and plastic milk and juice containers
#3 – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) A tough, environmentally indestructible plastic that releases hydrochloric acid when burned.
#4 – Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) widely used for manufacturing various containers, dispensing bottles, wash bottles, tubing, and plastic bags
#5 – Polypropylene (PP) used for making molded articles, laminates, bottles, pipes, and fibers for ropes, bristles, upholstery, and carpets
#6 – Polystyrene (PS) used to make auto parts, CD cases, electronics, toys, kitchen appliances and Expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam or EPS)
#7 – Other (mixed plastic) acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate, and polylactic acid (a bioplastic also known as PLA), and multilayer combinations of different plastics

Sorted Residential Papers & News (SRPN)

Sorted Residential Papers & News (SRPN) includes recovered and sorted newspapers, junk mail, magazines, printing papers, writing papers, and other acceptable papers.

Sorted Office Paper (SOP)

Sorted Office Paper (SOP) is recovered paper, as typically generated by offices, containing primarily white and colored papers.

Magazines (OMG)

Old Magazines (OMG) includes recovered coated magazines, catalogues, and similar printed materials.

 

 

Zero Waste Downloads

Zero Waste Ordinance Compliance Checklist
Public Litter Receptacles

Free to use and reproduce labels for public litter receptacles

    Best      Acceptable 
 thumbnail image of litter labels(PDF, 955KB)   thumbnail image of litter labels(PDF, 102KB)