DADE CITY — Officials held a symposium Tuesday night to educate city staff and residents about changes to the recycling program.
Come August, the city will use 18-gallon blue plastic bins to collect glass, plastic and metal cans for recycling, instead of the blue bags used in the rest of the county.
The bins will be distributed for free by Central Carting Disposal and will contain an educational brochure.
Recyclable items will stay the same: aluminum and metal cans, #1 and #2 plastic (look at the number inside of the arrows forming a triangle on the container) and clear, green and brown glass bottles and jars.
Jennifer Seney, the recycling coordinator for Pasco County, said the bins will increase participation and are more cost-effective than the bags. In time, she said, recycling could bring the city a new revenue stream.
The bins will be co-mingled, so residents will not have to separate glass from plastic, for example. However, Seney asked that residents take caps off of plastic bottles, because the caps are made out of low grade plastic and can't be recycled.
In addition to making the recycling process easier for participants, officials are also increasing the frequency of recycling pickups in Dade City.
"What you used to put in the blue bag twice a month, you now put in the bins once a week," Seney said.
City Commissioner Steve Van Gorden asked Seney what the next logical step would be toward making Dade City more eco-friendly and sustainable. Seney urged staff to look into the Green Fiber Program, in which dropoff locations are established to collect paper for recycling.
Seney said paper was not included in the program because of the practice of burning trash for electricity.
"We created a recycling program at the same time we created the waste-to-energy plan," Seney said. "(The plant) needs to be fed so we can burn."
Mayor Scott Black asked residents to set an example by recycling and to use the bins for what they were made for.
"Let's keep the pressure on our neighbors to participate in this program and not use the bins for storing tools or crafts," Black said.