Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater to test bigger, better recycling program

CLEARWATER — That rectangular yellow recycling bin outside your house has problems.

It's too small. Too open to wind and rain. Too difficult to lug. It may even be annoying enough to keep you from recycling.

That's bad for the environment and costly for the city, which makes money off recyclables. So starting next year, for a few neighborhoods at least, the city is going to make recycling a lot easier.

Before the first pickup Feb. 1, officials will roll out new 64-gallon recycling carts to the Island Estates, Plaza Park, Tropic Hills, Navajo Park and Grovewood neighborhoods, for pickup once a week alongside your black trash barrel.

The new blue carts are more than three times bigger than the old bins. They're closed on top. And they're outfitted with wheels so you can roll, not heft.

You also can put more kinds of recyclables in them. In the yellow bins, you could deposit newspaper, mixed paper, plastic bottles and tin or aluminum cans. If you get one of the new bins, you can also recycle cardboard and all kinds of paper and plastic, without a need to sort.

The city hopes the more convenient single-stream recycling will almost double the number of households participating in recycling. City households pay $2.26 a month for recycling service, but only one in three actually recycles at the curb.

Recyclables will be trucked to a waste plant in Lakeland, where an expensive sorting machine will use lasers and magnets to separate the goods for shipment.

The city makes money selling recyclables — about $300,000 last year, down from a $1 million peak in 2007. Recycling also costs less than trucking trash to the Pinellas County Waste-to-Energy Facility at a cost of $37.50 a ton.

But the service isn't yet perfect. Glass still needs to be dropped off at the city's Solid Waste Facility at 1701 N Hercules Ave.

The single-stream pilot program will last six months in the named neighborhoods. Earl Gloster, the city's director of solid waste and general services, said it looks likely that the change will expand citywide.

"The easier, more convenient we make it, the more apt they are to participate," Gloster said. He learned about the new methods at a solid-waste conference in Texas earlier this year.

"It was an epiphany for me," Gloster said. "This is the way we need to go."

Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 445-4170 or

Clearwater to test bigger, better recycling program 11/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology


    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  2. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  3. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year


    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  4. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'


    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. []
  5. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]