Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville, Wal-Mart partner to provide curbside recycling

Brooksville Mayor Joe Bernardini launches the city’s partnership with Wal-Mart for curbside recycling beginning in September.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Brooksville Mayor Joe Bernardini launches the city’s partnership with Wal-Mart for curbside recycling beginning in September.

BROOKSVILLE — This small city is getting some help from a retail giant as it prepares to kick off its first curbside recycling program.

Brooksville officials announced Wednesday that Wal-Mart is donating thousands of plastic bags for a three-times-a-month curbside recycling effort that will begin Sept. 2.

"When we approached Wal-Mart about the opportunity to partner, they didn't just say yes, they enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity," Mayor Joe Bernardini said during a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday. "We know that even the most meager efforts will have a resounding positive effect on the environment, and over the long term, taxpayers will also reap the benefit because the more we recycle, the less waste is going into the landfill."

As he talked, Bernardini stood under a banner offering some trash trivia. For those who are counting, it can take 500 years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade. Same for an aluminum can.

The clear blue bags will be distributed by the city to residents who want to take part in the voluntary program. City sanitation workers will pick up the bags full of recyclables and take them to the county recycling center at the county's Northwest landfill facility. The landfill is rapidly approaching capacity, and construction has started on a new section.

The schedule for Brooksville's program: plastic, aluminum and tin on the first Wednesday of the month; newspapers, magazines, paper bags and phone books on the second Wednesday; and cardboard on the third.

The bags also will be recycled, officials said.

Wal-Mart's contribution is crucial because the cost of recycling bins or bags could have run as high as $400,000, City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha said.

In this kind of budget year, "that was prohibitive," Norman-Vacha said.

The city is incorporating the recycling into its regular pickup schedule for bulk and yard waste, so there should be little to no cost unless the program is popular enough to warrant more routes, she said.

"That would be great if everyone decides to recycle and we need an extra route in there," Norman-Vacha said.

Two of Wal-Mart's goals are to be good environmental stewards and help the communities where it does business, said Toby Gray, general manager of the company's 1.5-million-square-foot distribution center on Kettering Road, about 10 miles east of the city limits.

"This opportunity was a perfect marriage of those two things that are important to us as a company," Gray said.

The retailer can get the bags in bulk from one of its current vendors at a fraction of what the city would have paid, he said.

Gray said he believes it's the first time the retailer has helped a city with a curbside recycling effort.

Criticized for years for its environmental record, Wal-Mart has trumpeted its efforts to transform itself into a more green-friendly operation. Both the company's reputation and its bottom line have benefited.

The Kettering Road facility can generate as much as 4 tons of cardboard each day, Gray said. Wal-Mart makes money by selling the material, and the profit likely will go to pay for Brooksville's plastic bags, he said.

Brooksville residents will join some 38,000 households in two Spring Hill ZIP codes who already have curbside recycling — though they have to pay for it. Those county residents are billed a mandatory $1.15 per month for the service, which is provided by the county through a vendor.

The county is considering ways to expand curbside recycling to other areas, said Scott Harper, solid waste services manger. Contracts with its three waste hauling vendors are up next year.

"Now is the time to think of what could benefit the whole county," Harper said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at tmarrero@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

Brooksville, Wal-Mart partner to provide curbside recycling 07/01/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 7:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Photo gallery: First images of the total solar eclipse

    Space

    Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

    The moon covers the sun during a total eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, near Redmond, Ore.  [Ted S. Warren | Associated Press]
  2. FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme

    Personal Finance

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms — scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves.

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms.
[McClatchy DC/TNS file photo]
  3. Barcelona fugitive shot dead outside city wearing bomb belt

    World

    SUBIRATS, Spain — A man thought to be the driver in the Barcelona van attack was shot dead by Spanish police Monday after authorities announced he also was suspected of killing the owner of a hijacked getaway car. The fugitive was wearing a bomb belt, authorities said.

    Police bomb squad officers work by a road near Subirats, Spain, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. A police operation was underway Monday in an area west of Barcelona, and a Spanish newspaper reports that the fugitive in the city's van attack has been captured. Regional police said officers shot a man wearing a possible explosives belt in Subirats, a small town 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Barcelona. [Associated Press]
  4. Man accused in slaying of two Kissimmee officers was well-regarded during time at MacDill

    Macdill

    A man accused of shooting to death two Kissimmee police officers was well-known at MacDill Air Force Base as a Marine who served key roles at two major commands.

    Everett Glenn Miller, a suspect in the fatal shooting of two Kissimmee police officers, was well-regarded by colleagues with whom he worked at MacDill Air Force Base. But his Facebook posts, friends say, show he was becoming increasingly angry. [Kissimmee Police Department]
  5. Recipe for Chicken Wings with Coconut Sweet Potato Puree

    Cooking

    This dish is an homage to one of my favorite Epcot International Food and Wine Festival dishes: Grilled Beef Skewer With Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree from the Patagonia kiosk. A boniato is a sweet potato with whiter flesh and a typically sweeter flavor. I use standard sweet potatoes in this recipe, plus a little …

    Chicken Wings with Sweet Potato Puree. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.