Clearwater moves to once-a-week garbage collection

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) — Effective Monday, Jan. 11, the city of Clearwater will reduce its garbage collection services from twice-a-week to once-a-week collection service. For residential customers, one of two collection days will go away. Garbage will be collected on the same day that one’s recycling, yard waste and bulk collections currently occur.

In 2013, the city introduced its single-stream recycling program. After program implementation, the city found that many customers do not fully use the twice-a-week garbage collection service as they once had. As a result, the amount of material being recycled in the city increased from 160 to 440 tons of recyclables per month. This means that residents are filling their trash barrels less and are using their recycling containers more, resulting in less trash that needs to be collected (and in turn, more recycling to be picked up).

A rate reduction is not anticipated at this time. “Solid waste customers are using their blue recycling containers more, and the city’s Solid Waste & Recycling trucks still are picking up the same amount of garbage; it’s just distributed differently,” said Earl Gloster, Director of Solid Waste & General Services. In addition, portions of current trash and recycling rates are being budgeted for replacement of the city’s aging garbage transfer station near Bright House Field. Replacement of the 44-year-old transfer station will cost an estimated $20 million.

Currently, more than four million Floridians have garbage collected once per week. The cities of Safety Harbor, Lakeland, Key West, Sarasota and Dunedin among others have already started a successful once-a-week garbage collection program. A list of frequently asked questions about Clearwater’s once-a-week garbage collection program is available here.

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