Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gulfport City Council considers expanding recycling program

GULFPORT — The city has a brand new recycling truck and the public works director, Don Sopak, has big plans for it.

All he has to do is get the City Council to go along with his proposal at its meeting next week.

Looking at the next council meeting on Oct. 5, Sopak said he will propose expanding the city's curbside recycling program to include all plastics, metal cans and jar lids, junk mail and magazines, white and colored paper, brown paper bags and cardboard.

Those items would be added to the items the city is already picking up: newspaper, some plastics and aluminum.

And, Sopak says, he can do it without raising the rates. Residents pay $1.50 a month, except those living in Gulf Shores. They pay $0.95 a month.

Sopak's plan is following one anticipated by the council when it ordered the new recycling truck for $194,000 last November.

However, while the city waited the nine months it took to have the truck delivered, some council representatives suggested the city might be better off — able to get more items recycled — by selling the truck and turning the program over to an outside firm.

But Sopak said he is confident his plan will win them over.

"The outside firms would cost more … and we had this brand-new truck. I figured out a way to pick up the same things and to save cost," Sopak said.

"We've been running our own program for 16 years and it has been very successful. Our residents like what we are doing and having our own program. It just had to be modified so we could collect more," he said.

The only item that won't be picked up curbside is glass. Glass, Sopak said, is the most difficult item to find a wholesaler to buy.

But he has a solution for that, too.

Sopak said he will propose using some of the annual grant money for recycling the city receives from the Pinellas County Department of Solid Waste Operations to purchase a receptacle for all colors of glass that will be placed somewhere in the city. The city will then have the glass trucked to a glass recycling center in Sarasota.

The city's recycling program makes some money, but the amount varies, depending on the market for recyclables, Sopak said.

Council member Michele King, perhaps the biggest proponent of looking at outside haulers, said she would be agreeable to keeping it in the city if the program were expanded.

"I just want to recycle more. It makes sense to recycle as much as possible," King said.

About 1,300 homes, or 32 percent of Gulfport's population, recycle, Sopak said. The city will work hard to increase those numbers by educating people through programs and fliers on the benefits of recycling.

The expanded program will start in November if approved by the council.

Gulfport City Council considers expanding recycling program 09/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 2:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.