Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater leaders vote today on expanding single-stream recycling

Some Clearwater residents sort their recyclables in separate bins. Those in a pilot program use a wheeled cart that doesn’t require sorting.

LARA CERRI | Times (2010)

Some Clearwater residents sort their recyclables in separate bins. Those in a pilot program use a wheeled cart that doesn’t require sorting.

CLEARWATER — When the city rolled out bigger, more ergonomic recycling bins last year, they were available in just five neighborhoods.

Since February 2012, the 64-gallon wheeled carts have been part of a single-stream recycling pilot program in Grovewood, Island Estates, Navajo Park, Plaza Park and Tropic Hills.

Today, the City Council will decide whether to spend $1.5 million to introduce 26,000 of the carts citywide.

The blue, wheeled carts are three times larger than the small yellow bins used elsewhere in the city. Unlike the bins, they're closed on top. And they're outfitted with computer chips that could help the city collect data about their use.

In addition, residents with the new bins would be able to recycle cardboard and all types of paper and plastic without having to sort.

"The reaction so far has been overwhelmingly positive" in the pilot neighborhoods, said Earl Gloster, Clearwater's director of solid waste and general services.

Frank Dame, 66, of Island Estates, has noticed widespread support for the new carts.

"I'm seeing it as I walk my dog. A lot of my neighbors are using the new bins versus the old ones," he said. "I think it's great."

The city saw 50 percent recycling participation in the targeted neighborhoods, which yielded a 50 percent increase in recyclables collected.

And that meant increased revenue.

Clearwater earned $600,000 last year selling recycled goods. In comparison, the city must spend $37.50 a ton to haul trash to the Pinellas County waste-to-energy facility.

"We're hopeful to eventually get over that $1 million mark," Gloster said, recalling 2007, when the city earned an all-time high selling recyclables.

City households currently pay $2.35 a year for recycling services, but only about half use the service.

To increase participation, Gloster plans to expand community outreach to schools and neighborhood organizations.

"We need to tell people what we're doing, why we're doing it and how it's going to benefit the city," he said.

"We really want to make a splash."

Matt McKinney can be reached at or (727) 445-4156. To write a letter to the editor, go to

Clearwater leaders vote today on expanding single-stream recycling 06/18/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Colt Prattes and Abigail Breslin do the iconic lift scene in the remake of Dirty Dancing on ABC.
  2. Goodbye Tampa Bay Express, hello Tampa Bay Next; but toll lanes aren't going anywhere


    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Express is dead.

    But it's replacement — Tampa Bay Next — will likely include many of the same projects, including express toll lanes on the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. DOT officials say there are still re-evaluating the most controversial aspect of the old TBX plan: spend $6 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area highways - Interstates 4,75 and 275 - that are currently free of tolls. But TBN will keep the plan to add express toll lanes to the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Trigaux: Tampa Bay lands on Forbes 2017 ranking of best places for young professionals

    Working Life

    Consider this one more notch in the belt of Tampa Bay starting to win serious attention from millennials as place to live and build a career.

    Mike Griffin is a senior managing director in Tampa for Savills Studley Occupier Services, which provides integrated real estate services. He is also chairman for 2017 of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the first of the next generation of leadership emerging in this metro market. [Courtesy of Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce]
  4. Column: Trump beat Bush, Rubio but has become an 'establishment sellout'


    NYT’s Ross Douthat's Sunday column: Donald Trump, Establishment Sellout

  5. Haitians get a reprieve from Trump administration


    Haitians living in Florida, and the rest of the country, will be allowed to stay an additional six months, federal officials have decided.