Businesses should heed the call. A mandatory recycling program policy will come into effect for all commercial establishments on Estero Island on Friday, Nov. 1.
The Fort Myers Beach Town Council unanimously adopted an ordinance to approve a recycling program for businesses on Estero Island during a public hearing on Aug. 5. Town officials recently mailed out a brochure to all those that apply.
Commercial establishments will be required to recycle at least one type of recyclable material that they generate, and that matter must constitute the largest portion of the business's waste stream.
Town officials have made recycling a mandatory priority for Beach businesses and will implement policy on Nov. 1, 2013.
According to the brochure, "all commercial establishments located in the Town of Fort Myers Beach are required to recycle a minimum of one type of recyclable material that the business generates. This primary recyclable material shall be the recyclable material that comprises the largest portion of the commercial establishment's waste stream."
The Town business recycling adoption was a topic of discussion for Town officials at a work session on Feb. 7, before it was moved to a Council meeting on Feb. 22. It was then talked over again at another work session on May 20. Before it was adopted in August, a draft ordinance was re-introduced at a Council meeting on June 17, after revisions were made to it at the prior work session.
Before Council voted on the matter, Town Manager Terry Stewart reported "no feedback" regarding the ordinance. He recommended the time allowance to help all involved some leeway to get adjusted and prepared. That allowance ends Oct. 31.
"It seems as if there is a pretty strong acceptance by the business community," he said earlier. "My recommendation gives Town staff the opportunity to reach out to businesses and make sure that they understand what the requirements are."
Required participation in recycling among Beach businesses would involve "recovered materials," including metal, paper, glass, plastic, textile or rubber materials that have known recycling potential, according to Town records. Lee County has a mandatory business recycling program, but Fort Myers Beach is exempt from it.
Councilman Dan Andre, the co-owner of Mango Street Inn, recycles at his business and recently stated he pays $76 per month for provider Advanced Disposal to pick up both trash and recycling materials. Of his business' total solid waste, roughly 65 percent is recycled materials.
Commercial establishments can go that route by contracting with the County franchise hauler or with any properly certified recovered materials dealer, one that is certified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to handle, purchase, receive, recover, sell or is an end user of recovered materials.
To prove that a business is participating in the program, the Town will have jurisdiction to request proof of a valid and current contract with either a hauler or a dealer. The commercial establishment can also supply copies of receipts for delivery of recyclable material to said dealer come November.
Any business found in violation or failing to comply could be punished.