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Town to look into business recycling

May 22, 2013
By BOB PETCHER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

A commercial recycling program on Fort Myers Beach may become a mandatory issue.

Town officials are weighing the thought of approving a required participation in recycling among Beach businesses.

At its workshop Monday morning, the FMB Council agreed to discuss a draft ordinance at its June 17 meeting at 6:30 p.m. Following that introduction, a public hearing is being planned on the subject during Council's first meeting in August.

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Now that recycling takes place on the beachfront, Beach Council members are looking to make it mandatory for island businesses.

Councilman Dan Andre, a noted conservationist who was instrumental in getting recycling bins at each of the Town's beach accesses as a member of the Marine Resources Task Force a few years back, stated Lee County has a mandatory business recycling program, but Fort Myers Beach is exempt from it. While there are businesses that do recycle, a more expansive program would go a long way in the "green" scope of things.

"My position on this is to bring this forward and find out if this will hurt businesses. If that's a big concern, I would like those businesses to come forward and tell us how," he said.

Town manager Terry Stewart proposed a round table discussion with affected Beach business owners before passing an ordinance. That would be planned out if enough Beach business representatives show up and express a concern at the June 17 meeting.

"I am not sure how many businesses out there are aware that we are having this discussion," Stewart said. "That is the real key, making sure that they are aware of it and do have an opportunity to speak before we have public hearings."

"I am in favor of getting better input before we move forward on this," added Councilman Joe Kosinski.

Andre, the co-owner of Mango Street Inn, recycles at his business and stated he pays $76 per month for Advanced Disposal to pick up both trash and recycling materials. Of his business' total solid waste, 65 percent is recycled materials.

Commercial establishments can go that route by contracting with the County franchise hauler or with any properly certified recovered materials dealer.

"Recovered materials dealer may even pay them, depending on the commodities that they are collecting," said Town Attorney Marilyn Miller. "Another option is to haul the stuff themselves."

The proposed Town law would not require all recyclable materials to be discarded properly at each business. The draft ordinance states each Beach business would be required to recycle "a minimum of one type of recyclable material that the business generates." The business' primary recyclable material would involve "the largest portion of the commercial establishment's waste stream."

Council members discussed mandatory business recycling during a workshop on Feb. 7, 2011 and as an agenda topic during a regular meeting on Feb. 22 that year. At that latter meeting, legal counsel was directed to bring forward a draft ordinance.

Town seeks Stewardship Award candidates

Stewardship is the voluntary conservation of natural habitat and wildlife by concerned citizens. Do you know of any individual, business or organization which promotes awareness, education and preservation of our community's natural resources?

The Town of Fort Myers Beach is now accepting nominees for individuals who raise awareness, education and preservation of the our island's natural resources for the Town of Fort Myers Beach Mayor John Mulholland Stewardship Award. The application deadline is May 31, 2013.



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