The Department's pollution prevention (P2) program
was significantly expanded in the 1998 legislative session with
the funding of a P2 coordinator in each of the six regulatory
districts. These individuals, in coordination with the Bureau's P2
program, provide technical assistance to businesses to reduce or
eliminate sources of pollution, thereby reducing regulatory
exposure and providing P2 as an alternative to fines resulting
from enforcement actions.
The municipal solid waste recycling rate has grown
from 4% in 1988 to a current estimated rate of 40%, an increase
from 1 million tons of recyclable materials recovered in 1988 to
nearly 10 million tons today. There are now nearly 300 curbside
recycling programs in Florida providing curbside collection
service to an estimated three million households.
The department was successful during the 1997
legislative session in strengthening the laws governing the
disposal of construction and demolition debris (which previously
had been all but exempt from regulation) and has recently adopted
rules requiring permits, ground water monitoring, financial
assurance for closure and other needed controls.
The Bureau has implemented a number of programs to
reduce the amount of mercury in municipal solid waste resulting
from mercury-containing devices such as thermostats, fluorescent
lamps and household batteries. As a result, mercury in the waste
stream is projected to be less than 5 tons by the year 2000, down
from an estimated 37 tons in 1989.
Through the Performance Partnership Agreement the
department negotiated with Environmental Protection Agency Region
IV in 1997, the Bureau has streamlined the reporting requirements
and other paper work required to implement the federally delegated
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C program
which governs the management and disposal of hazardous waste.