Lake Worth, Florida.   The Art of Florida Living.

Public Services – Keeping Lake Worth Clean

Just like maintaining a home, keeping an entire city neat, clean, and in good repair is a big job.  Public Services fills the vital role of providing a safe and clean environment for residents, businesses, and visitors, alike.

Single Stream Recycling

The City of Lake Worth offers free weekly curbside recycling to properties that are eligible for the collection of solid waste by the City.  The City of Lake Worth takes part in “single stream recycling” which allows for all eligible recyclable goods to be placed in one container and are then collected and sorted at the materials recovery facility (MRF).  The advantages of single stream recycling include greater participation by residents due to minimal sorting effort, reduced collection costs because single compartment automated trucks perform pickup and service routes more efficiently, reduced carbon emissions by the collection trucks due to the efficiency of the single stream collection process, and a decrease in worker injuries because of the switch from bins to carts and the automated pickup process.

Recycling Information

Who is Eligible?

Small businesses, single-family dwellings and multi-family dwellings that are eligible for solid waste collection by the City are eligible for curbside recycling collection by the City.

How do I Sign Up?

City of Lake Worth residents and businesses should call 561.533.7344 between the hours of 6:30am and 4:30pm, Monday-Friday, to sign up for the curbside recycling program.

What items can be recycled curbside?

Items that can be recycled curbside include:

  • Paper (newspaper, magazines, junk mail, school/office paper, phone books, catalogs)
  • Plastics (#1 through #7)(must be clean)
  • Small metal cans (aluminum, steel, tin)(must be clean)
  • Cardboard
  • Paperboard (cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, paper bags)
  • Waxed cartons (juice boxes, milk and juice cartons)(must be clean)
  • Glass bottles and jars (must be clean)
  • Aluminum foil and bakeware (must be clean)

What Items Cannot be Recycled Curbside?

Items that cannot be recycled curbside include:

  • Plastic bags - Note:  Most locations that utilize plastic bags offer recycling & allow customers to bring them back as long as they are clean.  Examples are Publix & Winn Dixie.
  • Ceramics
  • Heat resistant glass, such as Pyrex
  • Mirror or window glass
  • Metal or plastic caps and lids
  • Crystal
  • Light bulbs (can be taken recycling center)
  • Styrofoam
  • Food waste
  • Needles
  • Hazardous waste
  • Wood

How Do I Report a Missed Collection?

Citizens should report missed collections by calling 561.533.7344, Monday to Friday. Refuse personnel will log the missed collection and send a truck out to address.

How Do I Receive a Recycling Container?

Residents who are eligible for City sanitation services should call 561.533.7344 between 6:30am and 4:30pm, Monday-Friday, to request one free recycling container.

What Type of Collection Container Will I Receive?

Residential containers are 95 gallon carts that are yellow and green in color.  Businesses and larger recyclers may receive a larger recycling container at the discretion of the Refuse and Recycling supervisor.

When Will My Collection Container Be Delivered?

Recycling containers should be delivered within one week of request.

What Happens If My Collection Container is Stolen?

Replacement 95-gallon Recycling Roll Carts can be obtained from the City for a fee. Call 561.533.7344 Monday through Friday between 6:30am and 4:30pm for information on replacement Residential Recycling Roll Carts.

Can I Recycle Electronics?

Yes.

The Solid Waste Authority (SWA) offers a Recycling Drop-Off Center at 7501 North Jog Road, WPB FL 33412 Monday through Saturday from 7:00am until 5:00pm during the week and 7:00am until 2:00pm on Saturday.  Common recyclable electronics include:

  • Audio/visual equipment, such as VCRs, stereos, etc.
  • Computer CPUs
  • Computer monitors
  • Computer peripherals, such as printers, scanners, etc.
  • Televisions
  • Telecommunications equipment, such as phones, fax machines, etc.

Interesting fact is that only 15% of old electronics are currently recycled or repurposed.  That means 85% of them end up in landfills.  Contact SWA at 561-697-2700 for more information.

Useful Recycling Tools

Here are 10 Ways You Can Use Less Plastic Every Day

  1. Look for produce and other items that aren’t overpackaged.  Not only are you reducing the plastic you use, you’re sending a message to the makers of those products that you don’t like plastic packaging.
  2. Use Cloth shopping bags.  Keep reusable bags somewhere handy – in your car or your bike or by the front door – so you don’t forget them when you go to the market, grocery store or mall.
  3. Forget bottled water.  Carry a reusable canteen.  Plastic bottles are one of the top five most common types of litter found on beaches.  Since bottled water is much more expensive than tap water, you’ll also save money doing this, and avoid the possible hazards of plastic toxins leaching into your beverage.
  4. Give up Gum.  Gum was originally made from tree sap called chicle, a natural rubber, but when scientists created synthetic rubber, polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate began to replace the natural rubber in most gum.  Who wants to chew plastic anyway?
  5. Bring a reusable mug when you order coffee.  Stow it on your desk, in your purse, car or bag so you have it on hand when you order or refill your drink.
  6. Skip the straw.  Straws are one of the top 10 items found on beaches.  In most cases, drinking out of a straw is simply unnecessary.  If you do need a straw, you can get a reusable stainless steel or glass one.
  7. Recycle.  If you must use plastic, try to choose #1(PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.  Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
  8. Reusable containers are great.  When it comes to lunch and leftovers, ditch the plastic bag and use reusable containers instead.  Reusable containers are just as easy to use and far less harmful for our environment.
  9. Volunteer at a beach cleanup.  Plastics last forever, so you can help pickup the plastics that have already reached our beaches.  Check the City website often for updates on Beach and neighborhood cleanups in our community.
  • Donate to your local charity.  Making a donation to an environmentally sensitive and conscious charity can help to fund cleanup efforts, fund legal battles to defend our environment, and help in spreading the word of recycling.  Do your part today.

Recycling Facts*

 

Aluminum

  • A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That's closed loop recycling at its finest!
  • Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
  • More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.
  • Because so many of them are recycled, aluminum cans account for less than 1% of the total U.S. waste stream, according to EPA estimates.
  • An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
  • There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
  • We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
  • At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
  • A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling 1 pound of steel. In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes

Paper

  • To produce each week's Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down.
  • Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
  • If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
  • If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
  • If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you'd get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!!!
  • The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
  • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
  • Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
  • The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
  • In 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
  • The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.

Plastic

  • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
  • Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.

Glass
 

  • Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper. All of these jars are recyclable!
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
  • A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.
  • Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.

Solid Waste and Landfills
 

  • About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material!
  • Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.
  • The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.
  • The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is "Mount Rumpke." It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.
  • The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.
  • Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
  • On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it

Miscellaneous Facts
 

  • An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space -- that's almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
  • Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!
  • A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
  • Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
  • On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.
  • A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That's a lot of containers -- make sure they're recycled!

Economic Facts of Recycling
 

  • Well-run recycling programs cost less to operate than waste collection, landfilling, and incineration.
  • The more people recycle, the cheaper it gets.
  • Two years after calling recycling a $40 million drain on the city, New York City leaders realized that a redesigned, efficient recycling system could actually save the city $20 million and they have now signed a 20-year recycling contract.
  • Recycling helps families save money, especially in communities with pay-as-you-throw programs.
  • Well-designed programs save money. Communities have many options available to make their programs more cost-effective, including maximizing their recycling rates, implementing pay-as-you-throw programs, and including incentives in waste management contracts that encourage disposal companies to recycle more and dispose of less.
  • Recycling creates 1.1 million U.S. jobs, $236 billion in gross annual sales and $37 billion in annual payrolls.
  • Public sector investment in local recycling programs pays great dividends by creating private sector jobs. For every job collecting recyclables, there are 26 jobs in processing the materials and manufacturing them into new products.
  • Recycling creates four jobs for every one job created in the waste management and disposal industries.
  • Thousands of U.S. companies have saved millions of dollars through their voluntary recycling programs. They wouldn't recycle if it didn't make economic sense.

Environmental Recycling Benefits and Facts
 

  • Recycling and composting diverted nearly 70 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2000, up from 34 million tons in 1990-doubling in just 10 years.
  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
  • The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a light bulb for four hours.
  • Recycling benefits the air and water by creating a net reduction in ten major categories of air pollutants and eight major categories of water pollutants.
  • In the U.S., processing minerals contributes almost half of all reported toxic emissions from industry, sending 1.5 million tons of pollution into the air and water each year. Recycling can significantly reduce these emissions.
  • It is important to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. Recycling helps us do that by saving energy.
  • Manufacturing with recycled materials, with very few exceptions, saves energy and water and produces less air and water pollution than manufacturing with virgin materials.
  • It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make it from raw materials. Making recycled steel saves 60%, recycled newspaper 40%, recycled plastics 70%, and recycled glass 40%. These savings far outweigh the energy created as by-products of incineration and landfilling.
  • In 2000, recycling resulted in an annual energy savings equal to the amount of energy used in 6 million homes (over 660 trillion BTUs).
  • A national recycling rate of 30% reduces greenhouse gas emissions as much as removing nearly 25 million cars from the road.
  • Recycling conserves natural resources, such as timber, water, and minerals.
  • Every bit of recycling makes a difference. For example, one year of recycling on just one college campus, Stanford University, saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and the need for 636 tons of iron ore, coal, and limestone.
  • Recycled paper supplies more than 37% of the raw materials used to make new paper products in the U.S. Without recycling, this material would come from trees. Every ton of newsprint or mixed paper recycled is the equivalent of 12 trees. Every ton of office paper recycled is the equivalent of 24 trees.
  • When one ton of steel is recycled, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved.
  • Brutal wars over natural resources, including timber and minerals, have killed or displaced more than 20 million people and are raising at least $12 billion a year for rebels, warlords, and repressive governments. Recycling eases the demand for the resources.
  • Mining is the world's most deadly occupation. On average, 40 mine workers are killed on the job each day, and many more are injured. Recycling reduces the need for mining.
  • Tree farms and reclaimed mines are not ecologically equivalent to natural forests and ecosystems.
  • Recycling prevents habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and soil erosion associated with logging and mining.

Facts compiled from the National Recycling Coalition, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Earth911.org.

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