1. Pasco

Pasco recycling plan: Take paper, plastics, metal containers and aluminum. You can keep the glass

Pasco County is considering weekly recycling and ending the curbside pick-up of glass. DOUG CLIFFORD | Times (2018)
Published May 7

DADE CITY — Pasco County wants to boost residential recycling by shedding 40 percent of the stuff that gets picked up at curbside.

Of the 8,000 tons of material recycled annually by county residents, 40 percent, or approximately 3,200 tons, is glass. But a depressed commodities market has meant the county is paying to dispose of it, and commercial recyclers also consider glass to be a contaminant, damaging the value of other recycled materials.

Four years ago, county staffers recommended that Pasco get out of the glass recycling business. On Tuesday, commissioners began the process of doing just that by starting an overhaul of the recycling program. The board introduced a proposed ordinance to expand curbside pick-up of recyclables to once a week, rather than the current schedule of twice per month.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. May 21 at the West Pasco Government Center. If adopted, haulers will have 90 days to comply.

But a big part of the change — besides more frequent service and projected higher costs to consumers — is that haulers will accept only aluminum, plastics, metals, newspaper and cardboard in curbside recycling containers. Removing glass from that list is expected to save the county about $100,000 annually. But it isn't universally favored.

''I did not know we were in it for a profit. I thought we were trying to protect the environment,'' recycling advocate Lewis Corvene said in a recent letter to the Tampa Bay Times.

Pasco residents produce 379,000 tons of trash annually, about a quarter of which — 95,000 tons — is material that could be recycled. Boosting that number is the aim of adding weekly recycling.

"I can't wait for once-a-week recycling,'' said Commissioner Kathryn Starkey. "I think that will be more convenient for everyone.''

Other proposed changes for the county's solid waste service, previewed for commissioners last month, include a $2.69 increase to the monthly fee the county's seven private haulers can charge. The current fee of $12.44 hasn't increased in 10 years. Separately, the weekly recycling service will add an expected $1.76 to residents' monthly trash bills. Additionally, staff has proposed a $7 increase in the annual $65-per-household solid waste assessment to finance the expected $190 million expansion of the county's trash-burning plant.

The incinerator is now running at capacity, and the county is paying $600,000 to haul excess garbage to a privately owned landfill in Sumter County.

Contact C.T. Bowen at or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2.


  1. Jessica Stoneking, Seven Springs Elementary School art teacher, and a group of kindergarten children enjoy a colorful floor rug during instruction time.  The rug is one of the many flexible seating options art students have in Stoneking's class. Gail Diederich
  2. Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil says religious leaders must be empathetic to the needs of families members of those who die by suicide. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Attitudes have evolved with understanding about mental illness
  3. Joshua Michael Nichols, 21, was arrested by Pasco County Sheriff's deputies on Saturday in connection to the early morning shooting death of an unidentified man during an argument outside a Spring Hill home. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office] ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    One person is in custody. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
  4. Yesterday• Pasco
    Dr. Rao Musunuru, MD, received his third “Paul Harris Award.” the highest recognition from the Rotary Club, on Aug. 15. The pin was presented to Dr. Musunuru, a nationally-recognized cardiologist, by Rotary 6950 District Governor Allen Collins in recognition of his humanitarian and philanthropic services to the people of Pasco County and the State of Florida for nearly 40 years. Pictured: Dr. Rao Musunuru, MD, (left) and Rotary 6950 District Governor Allen Collins. Jemith Rosa/Hudson Rotary Club
    News and notes about your neighbors
  5. The Pasco County school district would rezone the Seven Oaks subdivision from the Wiregrass Ranch High feeder pattern to the Cypress Creek High feeder pattern, beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Pasco County school district
    The Seven Oaks subdivision is the primary target for rezoning.
  6. Homeowner Cheryl Murdoch, 59, explains the workings of the Philips Smart Mirror in her bathroom. Murdoch and her husband live in the Epperson neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, home of the Crystal Lagoon, where some residents are piloting new health technologies inside their homes. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    In Pasco’s Crystal Lagoon community, AdventHealth and Metro Development Group are testing in-home technology aimed at keeping people away from the hospital.
  7. Lilly Beth Rodriguez, left, Laura Robertson and Linda Lamont work on a Habitat for Humanity house in north Pasco. [Times (2013)]
    The increase is expected to happen in the first half of next year. CEO hopes other nonprofits follow suit.
  8. The number of single-family homes sold in the Tampa Bay area during August rose 2.8 percent when compared with the same month last year, according to a monthly report from Florida Realtors. (Times file photo)
    The midpoint price in the bay area rose to $250,000, which is still lower than the state and national median prices.
  9. William Mendenhall, 43, is facing charges of aggravated battery and aggravated assault against a pregnant woman. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    William Mendenhall, 43, faces charges of aggravated domestic battery and assault against a pregnant woman.
  10. Neighbors had objected to the Lago Verde mine in north-central Pasco and then the adjoining Seven Diamonds LLC mine for the past seven years. The Seven Diamonds mine is now adding 60 additional acres to increase in size by one-fifth.
    The Seven Diamonds LLC mine is adding 60 acres, increasing in size by one-fifth.