House bill to implement 75-percent recycling goal is back

A recycling bill that was described by its sponsor as being on life support two weeks ago has found new life in a proposed committee bill.

Florida now recycles about 28 percent of its waste, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. HB 1559 by Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, provides measures to implement the statewide 75-percent recycling goal by 2020 that was adopted by the House in a 2008 energy bill.

HB 1559 had enjoyed broad support from groups including the Sierra Club and Associated Industries of Florida. But the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Committee on March 25 delayed action after a representative of Republic Services said the waste hauling and recycling firm opposes the bill.

Rep. Trudi Williams, R-Fort Myers and committee chairman, said the bill still had life if some of the “garbage” in it, such as requiring surprise inspections at waste incinerators, was removed.

That language appears to have been taken out of the proposed committee bill, GGPC 10-02 by the General Government Policy Council. “It does have life and I’m very glad it does so,” Rep. Rehwinkel Vasilinda said.

The bill is scheduled to heard today by General Government Policy Council.

(Content provided by the Current, produced by The Florida Tribune. Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)