St. Petersburg alley recycling pick-ups in service now, condos next

View February Recycling Scorecoard

by Karen Coale, LWVSPA Recycling Co-chair & People’s Trash Coalition Chair

St. Petersburg alley recycling pick-ups began January 25th — and condos are next! With the commencement of alley pick-up at the end of January,  we hope the set-out rate will increase from the current 52.4% rate. This expanded service applies to 40% of the households that currently have blue bins.

As expected,  the weight collected in January was down from the holiday-driven December, but exceeded the monthly tonnage for August through November. The most notable change is the drop in revenue, which is mostly due to the declining value in commodities that are  output in  recycling collection (aluminum, paper, plastic, etc). However, the City continues to save money because of the decrease in trash tonnage,  for which the City pays at $37.50 per ton to dispose at the Pinellas County incinerator. Through January,  that savings amounts to $281,737.

What about condos and large apartment buildings?

Glad you asked!  The People’s Trash Coalition (CONA, LWVSPA and Sierra) recently met with City Staff to review their plans for expanding this service to apartment buildings, condos and mobile homes. Solutions will vary depending on the number of units in the complex.

For example, a series of shared 95-gallon bins is suggested for complexes that have 85-110 units. Larger complexes will have shared dumpsters, and recycling chutes will be incorporated into the construction of new multi-story buildings. Retrofitting existing multi-story buildings presents two challenges — a second chute for recyclables and space for the dumpsters.

A phased implementation is expected with pilots for the various types of solutions. The City’s proposal will be presented to City Council in early March, and the Coalition will be there to support it.

If you have any questions, please contact me at  recycling@lwvspa.org.