Sarasota County Solid Waste Department named recycling Program of Year 

County’s overall ‘capture rate’ of recyclables well above national average, study finds

Image from the Resource Recycling Conference website

Sarasota County’s Solid Waste Department has been honored by Resource Recycling as the Program of the Year, county staff has announced.

The Resource Recycling Conference Program of the Year Awards put the proverbial spotlight on cities and counties that take “innovative steps to recover more materials, engage with residents on sustainability, demonstrate excellence in program measurement, and make critical progress in other ways,” a news release explains.

“It is an honor to have the team recognized for the incredible work put into our recycling programs in Sarasota County,” said Brian Usher, Sarasota County Solid Waste director, in the release. “This is also a testament to our community members, who realize the importance of recycling and actively participate in our collection program.”

Sarasota County’s Solid Waste Department formally was recognized during the 2023 Resource Recycling Conference, which was held in Orlando Aug. 14-16. Sarasota County won in the Large Community category, based on a nomination submitted by The Recycling Partnership.

Resource Recycling said that its awards selection team “was impressed by the efforts in the county to track materials recovery data and engage with residents on education,” the release notes.

Sarasota County collected 767,853 tons of recyclables in 2020, the release points out. A 2022 study conducted by Sarasota County and The Recycling Partnership found that the recycling participation rate in the sample area was 94%, the release adds. The county’s overall capture rate — the percent of total recyclable materials of a given type that are actually separated from garbage and then recycled — is 62%, “well above the national average of 55%,” the release says.

The county started mandatory recycling following a 1991 voter referendum., the release adds.

Re-TRAC, which provides a platform that helps with the management and measurement of waste and recycling programs, sponsored the Program of the Year Awards, Resource Recycling points out on its website.

For more information on Sarasota County’s recycling program, visit or dial 311.