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DEP 101: Solid Waste

The department's Solid Waste Program sets guidelines for management of solid waste in the state. Regulations cover landfills, construction and demolition debris disposal facilities, waste-to-energy ash, solid waste beneficial use, compost, yard waste, waste tires and financial assurance. The Solid Waste Program also provides guidance and assistance regarding conflict resolution to promote statewide consistency in the implementation of solid waste rules.

DEP 101: Hazardous Waste

The Hazardous Waste Program issues permits to facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste.

DEP is responsible for implementing the hazardous waste regulatory portion of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in lieu of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency throughout Florida.

DEP 101: Recycling

In 2015, Florida recycled 13.8 million tons of municipal solid waste, helping to increase the statewide overall recycling rate to 54 percent. In order for Florida to reach 75 percent recycling by 2020, a goal established by the Florida Legislature in 2008, the department is urging all sectors, especially the commercial sector, to actively increase recycling efforts. 

How does recycling protect the environment?

DEP 101: Florida State Parks

Florida State Parks is one of the largest state park system in the country with 175 parks, trails and historic sites. With nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches and 1,500 miles of multiuse trails, the Florida Park Service shows visitors the best of the state's diverse natural and cultural sites.

DEP 101: Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection

The Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection manages more than 4 million acres of submerged lands and coastal uplands. The office oversees 41 aquatic preserves and the Florida Coastal Management Program. Also, in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, RCP manages three national estuarine research reserves, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Coral Reef Conservation Program.

DEP 101: Wetlands

Florida wetlands are areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and a duration sufficient to support a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soils. Wetlands are vital to the health of the environment because they remove and filter pollutants. Wetland plants and soils trap and take up pollutants, which helps keep water suitable for swimming, fishing and drinking.

DEP 101: DEP Central Laboratory

The DEP Central Laboratory in Tallahassee serves the department as a whole, including the watershed restoration program, along with environmental protection programs at other agencies – performing more than 140,000 analyses in an average year.

The lab is able to provide analytical services for a broad range of pollutants, algal toxins, toxicity bioassays, wastewater chemical tracers, biological community assessment, microbiology, fine particulates in air and molecular markers of bacterial contamination.

DEP 101: Basin Management Action Plans

A basin management action plan, or BMAP, is a comprehensive set of site-specific strategies to reduce or eliminate pollutant loadings and restore particular waterbodies to health.

Each BMAP is designed to achieve one or more total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), each of which establishes a target for the maximum amount of a specific pollutant that may be present while ensuring the functionality and health of the affected waterbody.


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