OLDSMAR — Residents soon will no longer need their small blue recycling bins.
The city is kicking off its new recycling program Jan. 2. And with the new "single stream" system, which commingles all recyclables, residents will be able to toss all their recyclables into a 35-gallon wheeled cart being delivered to each household before the end of this month.
Residents will be able to recycle more types of items more conveniently, too.
Now, they can recycle aluminum and steel cans, mixed paper, newspapers and some plastic bottles. The items must be organized in a specific order in their 18-gallon blue bins.
Under the new program, residents also will be able to recycle cardboard, glass jars and bottles, and more types of plastic. And they won't have to organize the items, just toss them in the larger 35-gallon wheeled cart.
So there will be little confusion, a list of allowable items will be embossed on the cart lids. And serious recyclers will be able to order an even larger cart.
So far, residents seem pretty enthusiastic, said assistant public works director Bob Cyr.
"The one item they're most excited about is that they get to put it all in one container, just throw it all in and roll it out to the curb," Cyr said.
Currently, the city handles recycling pickups. Republic Services of Florida will be in charge of the new system.
Over the past several weeks, the city has held workshops with residents to educate them about the new program. One of the more popular outreach sessions was at the 55-plus community of Gull Aire Village, where more than 150 people attended.
Some Gull Aire residents said they're a bit concerned about the larger containers, especially since, next October, the city also plans to transition to wheeled trash carts, too.
"I think it's going to be a little bigger than what most of us generally need," said resident Ginny Johnson, 70. "With that container and when we get the trash container next year it may be a little oversized for our sheds."
But resident Judi Puschmann said, for the sake of the environment, it's a change worth adapting to.
"I've got children. I've got grandchildren," said Puschmann, 68. "If their world is going to be enhanced by what we do today, I'm all for it."
Lorri Helfand can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4155.