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Lakeland Launches Recycling Awareness Campaign

Every Blue Cart Makes a Difference Campaign to focus on the individual impact of recycling in Lakeland

lakeland recycles logo with blue cart

LAKELAND, FL (November 1, 2019) | City of Lakeland residents recycled more than 16 million pounds of recyclables last year while throwing away approximately 55.7 million pounds of garbage. To turn the disposal tables, the City of Lakeland’s Solid Waste and Recycling Division is kicking off a new campaign aimed to increase participation, improve the quality of what is recycled and educate customers on what goes into their blue cart.

There is some confusion from area residents on what separates the City’s recycling program from neighboring communities. Gene Ginn, Solid Waste and Recycling Manager said, “One noticeable difference is the color of the recycling carts - Ours are blue and Polk County uses black with yellow lids.”

The Every Blue Cart Makes a Difference campaign distinguishes Lakeland’s recycling program and encourages residents to recycle paper, flattened cardboard, bottles or containers made of plastic, metal, and glass loose in their blue recycling cart. Ginn said, “Making a difference by recycling is something our residents value and we want to make sure they are recycling the right items in their blue cart each week.”

The campaign begins November 1st and will continue throughout 2020, introducing a new look and feel for the recycling division. Lakelanders can look forward to a new recycling logo, magnets, postcards, updated web page, videos, local media outreach, event giveaways, and social media to create a “recycling right habit” for residents. 

Lakeland’s Bag-Free Recycling initiative will be an essential part of this outreach. City officials say recycling should never be bagged and plastic wrapping like that found around bulk packaging should never be included in the blue cart.  “Plastic bags, wrap, along with clothes and electrical cords get tangled in the sorting machinery and stop operations three times daily, causing potential risk to recycling workers,” said Ginn. “Not all plastic is the same; to make it easy, if the plastic you want to recycle is not a plastic bottle or plastic container, it should go in the garbage and not in your blue cart.”

Kicking off the new Lakeland Recycles campaign and leading up to America Recycles Day, the community is invited to ShredFest 2019 on Saturday, November 2nd from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the City of Lakeland’s Solid Waste Office (605 Evelyn Avenue in Lakeland). ShredFest is a free one-day document shredding event where citizens can bring their personal documents to be securely shredded and recycled. Participants can bring up to five (5) file boxes of paper per vehicle to be shredded and recycled. There is no need to remove envelopes, file folders, staples, tape, paper clips or rubber bands.

On November 15th, the community is invited to stop by the Solid Waste Division’s booth in the Lakeland Public Library (100 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland) from 10  a.m. to 2 p.m. as we celebrate America Recycles Day. Staff will be on-site with lots of recycling-themed games and giveaways and to answer solid waste and recycling questions. 

For more information and to see the new look of Lakeland Recycles, visit LakelandRecycles.com.


Gene Ginn
Solid Waste & Recycling Manager

Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland
(Media Inquiries)

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third-largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore lakelandgov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.