Curbside recycling finally comes to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Environmentally conscious residents had much to cheer about Thursday as the City Council approved voluntary curbside recycling.

The council unanimously approved a bid from Waste Services of Florida Inc., to run the program. The company will charge $2.75 a month for once-a-week pick up for city residents who wish to participate.

The contract with the city still must be signed, but Bill Krimmel, a Waste Services district manager, said he wants to offer the service by Oct. 1.

So what do future customers need to know so they can sign up for it? Here's a quick guide.

Who's eligible?

City homeowners who live in single-family houses immediately qualify for the company's 18-gallon container, Krimmel said. Condo dwellers might have to wait, but he said he's working to include them too. He said for condo buildings, his company will provide larger containers and charge $68 a month per building, which can be divided among residents, he said.

How do you sign up?

Krimmel said residents can call the company's Clearwater office at (727) 572-6800 to register for the service. A website might be set up later to register customers as well. The city will include a notice in utility bills with information about how to register. The city's website and cable TV station will also promote the service. The company will charge an annual fee of $33 that can be paid electronically.

What will be recycled?

Plastic that is numbered between 1 and 7; steel and aluminum cans; all glass; all fibrous materials, but cardboard boxes must be broken down; newspapers; office paper; junk mail; phone books; and magazines.

What won't be recycled?

Styrofoam; bubble wrap; any plastic without numbers; ceramic planter bowls.

Can residents refuse curbside and continue to take materials to drop off sites?

Yes.

Can residents continue to have their recycled material picked up by Waste Pro of Florida Inc., which charges $15 a month?

Yes, but the city will promote the service provided by Waste Services.

What day of the week will recycled materials be picked up?

Krimmel said he doesn't know yet, but he wants to work it out with the city that curbside recycling will be on the same day as regular garbage pickup, depending on the neighborhood.

In other business, the St. Petersburg City Council also:

• Delayed a vote to amend the city's future growth map to limit the number of land use changes that would require voter approval. The move is anticipating Florida voters approving a November ballot measure that would require voter approval of future land use changes. City officials fear that would kill development in the city, and want to brace for it with a new growth map. But state officials objected to it. Council members voted to delay the last public hearing on it until Sept. 16, giving the city time to address the state's concerns.

• Gave preliminary approval to raise the city's water/wastewater rates by 7.5 percent. The council will vote on final approval of the rate increase at a Sept. 16 public hearing.

Curbside recycling finally comes to St. Petersburg 09/02/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 3, 2010 1:02am]

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