Hillsborough County received some fresh news about its effort to save the environment: The county is one of the biggest recyclers in the state.
And Pasco County isn’t far behind.
A new report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection showed Hillsborough had a combined total recycling rate of 73 percent in 2013, when incorporating renewable energy credits from waste-to-energy production. Pasco was third-best in the state at around 68 percent, with Lee County taking the runners-up slot at 70 percent.
The state average is just below 50 percent.
Hillsborough and Tampa officials both utilize waste-to-energy facilities as a primary solid waste disposal method, according to a release. That creates renewable energy and reduces the volume of waste sent to landfills.
Renewable energy credits, calculated based on the amount of renewable energy produced using solid waste as fuel, largely influenced the county’s overall recycling rate, officials said.
Hillsborough collected 7.74 pounds of trash per day, per person, totaling 1.8 million tons of solid waste. Of that solid waste, 775,000 tons were directly recycled, and other waste generated 547,000 megawatts of renewable energy — enough to fully power more than 300,000 homes.
Pasco collected 662,700 tons of solid waste, recycling 237,000 tons.
To see the full report, click here.