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Waste

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle

St. Petersburg is setting out to be a Zero Waste City.  The Office of Sustainability and Department of Sanitation are working together to set goals and milestones to reach the Zero Waste goal. Key initiatives planned and/or underway include:

  • Waste-to-Energy 
  • Residential Recycling
  • Multi-Family Recycling (coming soon)
  • Commercial Recycling (coming soon)
  • Special Event Recycling
  • Construction and Demolition Debris Diversion
  • Pre and Post-Consumer Food Waste
  • Class A (Fertilizer Grade) Sludge
  • Mulch to Energy
  • Compost Programs
  • City’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Program

For details on the current recycling programs, free services we offer, drop off sites and sanitation metrics, visit our Sanitation page and check out the flyer for accepted materials.  Don’t see what you are looking for?  Try the Waste Wizard to see what’s recyclable, where to drop off clothes, and more!

Compost Information from UF-IFAS

The University of Florida-IFAS is a federal, state, and county partnership dedicated, in part, to developing knowledge in agriculture and to making that knowledge accessible to the general public.  The University of Florida-IFAS website includes an extensive library of information for Florida gardeners.


Yard Waste and Mulch Program

The City’s yard waste recycling process begins with source-separated yard waste brought to our five convenient brush site locations by you, the resident. Next, the City processes the yard waste into mulch. Mulch benefits the soil by providing nutrients, suppressing weed growth, and reducing water usage. In following Florida Best Management Practices as set forth in “Recycling Yard Trash: Best Management Practices Manual for Florida,” the City’s mulch products are free of weed seeds, plant pathogens, and harmful insects. 

City mulch products include Regular Mulch, which is free and available at our brush sites, Log Mulch and Double-Ground Log Mulch, which are cheaper, more eco-friendly alternatives to cypress mulch, and Soil Builder, a soil amendment for sandy soils. All of the City’s mulch products are available for delivery for a nominal fee.  Please see the Mulch Order Form for more detail on the individual mulch products as well as pricing and recommended application.

Waste Reduction Tips

St. Petersburg residents throw away 7 lbs per day (per capita number including commercial and brush), that’s 320,000 tons per year.

Reduce

Avoid waste, save money, and protect our environment:

  • Food storage and waste prevention tips. It's not only good for the environment, but it can also save you money! BigOven will find you recipes based on the ingredients you enter in the search box.
  • Reduce paper waste by stopping unwanted junk mail and phone books. Check out Pinellas County Junk Mail Reduction Kit.
  • Print double-sided and learn other ways to save paper.
  • Bring your own reusable bags, containers, and coffee mug when you shop.
  • Rent equipment or share items via lending libraries.
  • Get creative! Great additional tips available at the Pinellas County website.

Reuse

Reusing products cuts your disposal costs and supports a significant local economy:

  • Sell items you no longer want and find bargains at consignment shops, garage sales, thrift stores, online exchanges and auctions like eBay and Craig’s List.
  • Buy salvaged building materials and architectural pieces.
  • Household products such as paints and cleaners are offered at the Pinellas County Swap Shop - no need to swap, it’s free!  (2855 109th Ave N. St. Petersburg.  Same location as electronic and chemical drop off.)  

Recycle

Try the Waste Wizard to see what’s recyclable, where to drop off clothes, and more!

Why recycle? 77% of the incoming trash to the Solid Waste Facility could be recycled!

  • Good for our economy – Helps create new, well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States
  • Saves money – reduces your tipping fees at landfill; quality, non-contaminated recyclables increases value and demand for St. Petersburg’s recyclables which can increase revenue for the City to use in improving programs.
  • Reduces waste -The average American discards 4.4 lbs of garbage every day, not counting commercial and yard waste (2013 EPA estimates).
  • Good for the environment - Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills.
  • Saves energy - Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials. Manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy.
  • Preserves landfill space – Purposing rare available land to other uses is preferred over developing new landfillls. Recycling preserves existing landfill space.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which are a cause of expedited climate change.
  • Reduces water pollution - Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials.
  • Protects wildlife - Using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife.
  • Creates new demand - Buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping our economy.

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