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St. Petersburg's recycling compromise



ST. PETERSBURG - Residents should decide whether they want the county's sanitation surplus fund to go toward curbside recycling or be divided among residents in the form of a refund, said council member Wengay Newton Thursday.

Newton, who supports the countywide curbside recycling program, said he would prefer a referendum over a watered-down compromise.

"The constituents spoke loud and clear. They really want curbside recycling," he said. "We should stop talking about it and do it."

The council opted instead to hold a workshop Oct. 2 on the issue.

Meanwhile, the buzz at City Hall Thursday was Mayor Rick Baker's editorial on recycling. He wrote he could accept council member Karl Nurse's compromise.

"What I like about Karl's proposal is that it would reduce the greenhouse gas impact, include an increase of yard waste recycling (a major contributor to the landfill), and provide some rate relief to St. Petersburg taxpayers," he wrote, highlighting the parts of the compromise that his administration has long supported.

Baker also wrote that if the council approves the project, he won't block it. That's good enough for Nurse.

"I read the mayor’s article and I think he said, 'Yes.' So I'll stop selling," Nurse said Thursday.

Thing is, when asked about Nurse's compromise Tuesday, Baker said he didn't want to discuss whether he would support the curbside collection component. And Mike Connors, the city's internal services administrator, told county officials last week the city wanted a refund for residents or permission to use the surplus money for other recycling programs. Connors has appeared before the county several times to lobby against a curbside program.

Baker, who was in Tallahassee for much of Thursday, could not be reached for comment.

Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:35am]


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