Editorial: State recycles good law

The state Capitol kicked off Earth Day by starting a recycling program that had been ignored since 1988. The Florida Capitol was required by law to recycle, but until Monday that law did not begin to take effect. It’s good that the Capitol is finally practicing what it preaches by recycling its own materials as it requires the counties.

In December, the St. Petersburg Times published a photo showing large amounts of paper being dumped in a landfill. The Capitol was embarrassed by it and decided to reorganize its recycling program and enforce it.

State workers in Tallahassee were given more than 2,800 blue recycling bins to fill with cans, bottles and paper. This is a great way to help the environment, something Gov. Jeb Bush says he wants to do in Florida. It also saves money. The program is estimated to save the state about $15,000 per year by recycling.

The state was also embarrassed that it required individual counties to recycle but was not implementing the program itself. Hopefully, once the state Capitol realizes the benefits of recycling, larger programs will be instituted around the state.

Florida could benefit greatly from such programs due to its emphasis on environment and tourism. Recycling bins are available at many locations, but only a few counties have curbside recycling services. Hillsborough just expanded its recycling program recently, but some counties, such as Hernando, have few recycling options available to all residents that would make it easy – and profitable – to recycle paper, cans and glass.

The Capitol has sent a good message to its constituents by implementing its 14-year-old law. Now it should go a step further and expand the program’s reach by including the whole state.