FPL | Recycling Energy in New Ways

Recycling Energy in New Ways

Reduction in solid waste volume

A companywide initiative helps us manage all regulated materials and the hazardous wastes associated with recycling. These programs foster

  • recycling
  • re-using
  • refurbishing and
  • reducing.

Managing regulated materials

Regulated materials include

  • aerosol cans
  • lead acid
  • lithium and nickel-cadmium batteries
  • fluorescent bulbs
  • mercury-containing devices
  • paints
  • solvents and
  • oils.

Example: Discarded aerosol cans previously were sent to appropriate landfills. Now any remaining content is removed and sent to landfills and the cans are recycled. This alone has diverted more than 18,000 aerosol cans from landfills every year.

A new "waste exchange" initiative promises to further reduce our need to place unneeded products in landfills by offering them to other FPL facilities that may require them.

Alternatives to storing and/or sending materials to landfills

We look for any viable alternative to storing materials or sending them to a landfill.

Example: Ash generated by fuel combustion was stored on-site in an ash basin before it was sent to a landfill. Now we remove this potentially valuable material from our ash basins and process the material for re-use.

Use the table below to determine what is done with ash.

If the ash...

Then it...

contains vanadium, a material used in the production of steel

is sold to steel companies for re-use.

is unsuitable for vanadium recovery

may be used as aggregate for brick and concrete production, as well as in asphalt.

Cleaning up

A voluntary clean-up of non-hazardous industrial waste streams initiated in 1986 has removed 239,000 tons of industrial waste from 13 facilities. This clean-up helped us identify many innovative, efficient recycling techniques, such as recycling the wastes into concrete products. Materials that could not be recycled were placed in appropriate landfills.

Environmental impact

As a result of relationships that existed between FPL and other corporations more than 70 years ago, we are partially responsible for potential environmental impacts at 6 sites throughout Florida. We began evaluating and addressing environmental impacts at these sites in 1996 and have since removed more than

  • 56,000 tons of coal-tar-impacted soils and debris
  • 6,000 gallons of free product and
  • 20,000 gallons of impacted groundwater from 3 sites.

In doing so, we developed a close working relationship with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which we have maintained during all phases of these projects. The remaining 3 sites are being evaluated.