Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa trash idea isn't worth recycling

Let me risk stoning in front of City Hall by saying this straight out: Tampa is not always a pretty town.

Oh, we have our pockets of pretty, our Bayshore Boulevard, our minarets, our oak-shaded spots along the Hills­borough River. We have a respectably pretty downtown skyline at night and some lovely brick-street neighborhoods to boot.

But before we get to bristling with civic pride, three words: Dale Mabry Highway. Find me a stretch of pretty on that road that runs the entire length of the city.

What we are here in Tampa is an interesting town, a scrappy town, a town it would be fun to sit next to at a party. As a blind date, Tampa might best be described as having a lot of personality.

Do we want to risk being a smelly, garbage-laden town, too?

With watching our pennies a major government priority of the moment, Tampa's City Council gets credit for searching for money-saving measures. It recently got to talking about cutting back garbage pickup from two days a week to one, an alternative to the possibility of upping our garbage collection fees.

But once a week?

As you probably know, it gets hot around here about, oh, maybe 10 months a year or so. In a Southern town, you risk regularly smelling like bawdy Bourbon Street the morning after Mardi Gras as the sun bakes your neighbor's overflowing cans.

Then, imagine you miss a week, forcing you to live with your garbage for two.

All of which is one thing when you're talking about a tidy, well-kept South Tampa street, another in neighborhoods already struggling with overgrown lots and serious code enforcement headaches. We're talking basic quality of life here.

Fewer garbage trucks on the road sure sounds like a noble goal. But a report from the city's public works and utility services administrator this week said cutting back to weekly pickup still could mean trucks out and garbage on the curbs five days a week. As Mayor Pam Iorio has pointed out, fewer pickup days doesn't mean less garbage.

For some reason this got me thinking of another well-meant Tampa effort years ago called the Orangecycle program.

The idea was to leave dozens of bikes painted bright orange around downtown so anyone could grab one to commute to a meeting or lunch or wherever. Then, on the honor system, the rider was supposed to leave it in a bike rack for the next guy.

Naturally, the bikes disappeared, prompting one person to quip, "We're tempted to say we have 100 percent utilization."

Gotta love Tampa.

On the garbage issue, council member Mary Mulhern offered this Martha Stewart­esque tip: we residents can store our leftover fish scraps and turkey carcasses in our freezers until garbage day.

Might sound a little let-them-eat-cake to folks who feel like they barely have time to scrape the plates after dinner, but it's a thought.

Seriously — educating the citizenry on minimizing garbage and maximizing recycling are great ideas.

Exploring city spending for sensible cuts is a good one, too.

But garbage pickup once a week? Not pretty, and hopefully an idea that ends up in the proper receptacle.

Tampa trash idea isn't worth recycling 03/04/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2008 3:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]