Subject: Curbside recycling service fails
Germany does it right
The city wants to help reduce the trash ending up in the dump? Mandatory recycling is not the only way to do it. An easy way to go about it is to see what other countries are doing to get their citizens to recycle. Being a native German, I have grown up with recycling. It seems everyone participates, and here is why: The trash bins provided by the city/county are not large enough to fit all the trash a household accumulates over the course of a one- or two-week period.
The only way to avoid paying extra for a larger bin or additional curbside trash bags is to recycle. The fees for larger bins or these trash bags are high enough to want to be avoided. In Germany, recycling centers have containers for pretty much any kind of recyclable material. Recycling is voluntary, but the way it is handled makes people participate without it getting the "mandatory stamp" on it. We recycle here at our home and business. Seeing first-hand how much trash you keep out of the landfills makes you feel good, too!
Stephanie Cox, St. Petersburg
Recycling can work
With a twice-a-week garbage collection in St. Petersburg, it sure seems like we could work something out with what we have in order to start recycling as a community. Why couldn't an alley pickup recycling system work? One bin would be for recyclables: glass, plastic and cardboard and the other for household waste, yard clippings and metal, since the trash plant removes metals from the mix anyway.
There's potential that this system could be automated, too, so that costs remain low. The biggest challenge is in getting people to change their habits and with patience and educational outreach, this can be achieved.
Rand Moorhead, St. Petersburg
Tout system's benefits
Often this newspaper will print letters from citizens of our county who are not satisfied with the recycling that goes on in the county.
I have wondered about it and then realized that they probably are unaware of the disposal/recycling system here in Pinellas County. The county solid waste operation uses a waste-to-energy system that burns 85 to 90 percent of all garbage not recycled from which electricity is generated and sold to Progress Energy. This system saves landfill space and saves the county huge amounts of money.
Attilio Corbo, Palm Harbor
Subject: City squanders local treasure
All I read about is how the city has less income coming in. Yet they don't look at some of the sweetheart deals they have made, going back to Rick Baker days. One such deal the city needs to look at is how it charges for the parking lot the Saturday Market uses. From my recollection the city had offered the group just $1 to lease Al Lang Field for a market on Saturday morning. The price hopefully increased since the Rick Baker giveaway days, but I seriously doubt we are getting the true monetary value of this area. The market brags it has over 200 vendors. At $45 a 10-foot space, that comes out to $9,000 a weekend they take in. Multiply that by roughly 30 weekends is a total of $270,000 they take in in revenue. Ask your City Council member how much we are getting per week to lease out this parking lot.
The city should bid out for a group to run this market on Saturday. I (a common vendor) would gladly pay $5,000 a week or total of $ 150,000 to run a market on the Al Lang parking lot. I guarantee they are not paying anything near this amount. If the council members or mayor were smart, the city would take this over and keep all the money to help pay for rising costs.
J. Scott Hoffman, St. Petersburg
Subject: Rays attendance
Quit whining, fans
Having grown up with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, I have to say that I find that a lot of Rays fans are whiners. All I hear from both Pinellas and Hillsborough residents are parking complaints. Do these people realize that there are no parking lots at Fenway Park nor at the old Yankee Stadium yet people come from hundreds of miles away to see the games and then have to walk miles on the street to get to the park? As a kid we would have to drive from western Massachusetts for two hours and then try to find a spot. If we were lucky we would walk a mile or more to get to the game. My message to Rays fans: If you are really a fan then stop complaining and go to the games before the Rays are gone forever.
Mark Vinette, St. Petersburg