In November, recycling in our beautiful city increased by almost 45%. That is huge! Cedar Key is now making money on the tipping fees. When asked why, it could possibly be the efforts of our group to EDUCATE, FACILITATE AND ENCOURAGE our businesses to both participate in recycling and to capture more recycle material. Businesses in Florida produce about 2/3’s of all waste, so it made sense to concentrate our efforts on businesses.
Working through the Chamber of Commerce, we held an open forum for members, specifically targeting lodging establishments and restaurants. The intent was to clear up misinformation, the lack of information and to educate. We have been doing follow-up visits with the businesses. Once they are shown that recycling is the right thing to do and that they can save money, it all falls into place.
Two businesses were interviewed this week to see what their recycling experience has been. Brian and Darlene Skarupski, owners of the Cedar Key Market and the Big Deck, were asked what they thought of the recycle program. My conversation went like this:
Brian: “Well, in the beginning I wasn't into this recycling stuff, never thought about it. Due to the efforts of the.... What is the name of your group?”
Tom: “The Energy Advisory Panel.”
Brian: Yes, that's it, Well, because of that group, we recy- cle about all of our cardboard at The Market and at the Big Deck we recycle cardboard, metal and glass.”
Tom: “Are you saving money?”
Brian: “We are saving money. It is one of the few things that government has done where I can actually save money instead of having it cost me more money!”
Jay and Connie Edge, owners of the Black Dog Bar and Table were asked if they are participating in the recycling program. Here is my conversation with Jay and Connie.
Jay and Connie: “Yes, we started recycling the beginning of December.”
Tom: “How is it going?”
Jay and Connie: “We are recycling much more than we throw away and there is definitely a cost savings.”
Tom: “Do you have any comments for other business owners?”
Jay and Connie: “We would like to see everyone recy- cling. The success of this program could be another market- ing tool for Cedar Key.”
Interview by Tom Deverin