New Orlando ordinance provides recycling at more properties

A new ordinance, unanimously approved by the Orlando City Council, will make recycling available at commercial and apartment properties citywide. That aligns with the city’s commitment to Beyond 34, a US Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiative to boost the recycling rate nationwide from its current 34%. The new ordinance also supports Orlando’s goal to become a zero-waste community by 2040.

The ordinance approved in March 2019 requires that, by 2021, recycling will be available to tenants in all commercial and apartment properties. Building owners must provide recycling bins and collection services. They also must maintain recycling program records.[1]

Downtown Orlando

With phased implementation, the program provides time for all sizes of businesses to comply.

  • Phase 1

    The first phase only applies to new construction projects. As of September 2019, certificates of occupancy will only be issued to projects which submit a recycling plan.

  • Phase 2

    The largest commercial buildings (200,000 square feet or greater) and apartment buildings have 250 or more units must offer recycling by April 2020.

  • Phase 3

    In April of 2021, the requirements extend to commercial buildings of 100,000 or more square feet and apartments with 75 or more units.

  • Phase 4

    All commercial and apartment buildings in Orlando must offer recycling as of April 2023.

Apartments and commercial buildings in Orlando are currently not required to recycle. With the ordinance in place, less waste will go into landfills. The impact should be significant since apartment properties, restaurants, bars, and other businesses may produce double the landfill trash of single-family properties.

Property owners may see significant reduction in the trash bills they now pay. Trash pickup costs about $7.50 per cubic yard. Recycling costs an estimated $3.50 per cubic yard.[2]

[1] (subscription required)

Alexa Stone
LEED AP, Sustainable Facility Professional, Envision Sustainability Professional - - Alexa has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable and Smart Cities development. Her strategic planning work has served local, state, and federal government, higher education, and private industry. Alexa founded ecoPreserve in 2009 as a team of 3 and has grown the company to over a dozen of the brightest sustainability and project management professionals in the industry.
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