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 [email protected] 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. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive


    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  2. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.
  3. 'Me too': Alyssa Milano urged assault victims to tweet in solidarity. The response was massive.

    Human Interest

    Actor Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on Sunday with an idea, suggested by a friend, she said.

    Within hours of Alyssa Milano’s tweet, tweets with the words “me too” began appearing. By 3 a.m. Monday, almost 200,000 metoo tweets were published by Twitter’s count.
  4. Tampa tax shelter schemer too fat for his prison term, attorney says


    TAMPA — A federal judge sentenced two Bay area men to prison terms last week for peddling an offshore tax shelter scheme that cost the IRS an estimated $10 million.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.

  5. Weinstein Co., overwhelmed by backlash, may be up for sale


    NEW YORK — The Weinstein Co., besieged by sexual harassment allegations against its namesake and co-founder, may be putting itself up for sale.