HOLMES COUNTY New figures from the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation show recycling rates are up statewide. Some areas are doing a better job than others. Holmes county officials say re-educating consumers is a vital part of the process.
Floridians seem to be taking better care of the environment.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says recycling statewide is up one percent from last year, when the state recycled 11.8 million tons of trash.
In 2012, that amount was just 9.7 million tons.
"I think it's wonderful that maybe we're getting more people involved in recycling,” said Holmes County Recycling Center Coordinator Ann Payne. “The more people that will recycle, the better for all of us in the future. Our children, grandchildren."
Monday officials at the Holmes County Recycling Center were processing more than 100 tons of cardboard.
The center receives everything from cardboard and plastic to old T.V's and tires. It's a lot of junk, but Payne wishes there was more.
Many items that come to the recycling center such as paper and plastic are from the public, but Payne says many people still use hazardous ways to get rid of their trash.
"We're so rural that people in the past have either, burned any kind of cardboard and paper type products. Landfill, or a lot of people use to just dig holes in the area and bury their trash. The fire of course, with the dry areas we've had and all the problems, we could get the wildfires. Also, burying things, it can leech down into our water aquifer and contaminate water," she explained.
Last year the center took in more than 277 tons of cardboard and more than 65 tons of tires.
Payne says the county plans to use advertising and summer programs to make people even more aware of recycling efforts.
Holmes County was ranked 25 out of 45 counties, with a 28% recycling rate.