Waste Reduction

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Waste Reduction

We all play a part in protecting our planet. We can do so by reducing the amount of waste we produce.

What is the impact?

Waste, especially single-use plastics, can have negative environmental, economic and quality of life impacts on our community. Our trash takes up space and produces greenhouse gasses and other pollution.

To combat this, St. Pete aims to be a zero-waste city by 2050. Every resident, visitor and business can take part in reducing the amount of waste produced in St. Pete. If we start now by making small everyday changes, we can all help decrease the waste that will end up in the trash and lessen the burden on the planet. Join us in St. Pete’s Road to Zero Waste.

Did you know?

St. Pete’s trash is sent to a Waste-To-Energy facility, where it is incinerated. This process produces usable energy and reduces the volume of trash by approximately 80-90%. The remaining waste is sent to a landfill, so it’s still vital that we reduce our waste.

Waste Reduction Techniques

We all know and love the 3 R’s: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Now there are 6 R’s to help reduce waste.

1. REFUSE

The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place! Refuse products that are destined to be trash after one use. Many products, like plastics, can last for centuries without breaking down.

Action Spotlight: Skip single-use items and bring your own when possible. For example: water bottles, coffee cups, reusable plates, cups, utensils, napkins, snack bags, food containers, etc.

2. REDUCE

When you cannot refuse, reduce your consumption where possible.

Action Spotlight: Opt out of paper mail by signing up for Paperless Utility Billing for your City of St. Petersburg utility bill and other bills and statements. More at stpete.org/utilitybill.

3. REPAIR

When possible, try to repair items that are broken instead of throwing them out. It saves money and reduces waste.

Action Spotlight: Mend clothing, shoes, furniture and household items instead of throwing away

4. REUSE

Reusing products will help you save money, reduce waste and preserve valuable resources.

Action Spotlight: Use share programs for cars, bicycles, equipment, clothing and more to avoid buying things that you rarely use. Learn more about St. Pete’s bike share and scooter share programs.

5. RECYCLE

When you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse, make sure to recycle to divert recyclable items from the trash.

Action Spotlight: Participate in St. Pete’s Recycling Program and make sure you're recycling correctly at stpete.org/recycle.

6. ROT

Rot refers to composting, which is the natural process of recycling organic material, like kitchen and yard waste, which breaks down to form a usable, nutrient-rich fertilizer. Did you know that kitchen and yard waste make up about 30% of what is thrown away? Composting helps divert these materials from the trash and deliver nutrients back into the soil.

Action Spotlight: Sign up for the City’s free residential Composting Program. Learn more at stpete.org/composting.

How to Get in Touch

Sanitation Department: 727-893-7334

Find more waste reduction tips at stpete.org/ZeroWaste.

Download the Guide