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Do Your Part

Waste Reduction

The City of St. Petersburg is committed to delivering progressive, sustainable policies and effective programs to address city environmental, economic and social challenges. St. Pete has made a goal to be a zero-waste city by 2050.

Why is reducing waste so important?

  • A reduction in the amount of waste produced could help reduce the cost of disposing solid waste and therefore mitigate service rate increases.
  • Less trash means cleaner communities.
  • Lessening the burden on the planet for resources.

Every resident, visitor and business have the responsibility to help reduce the amount of waste produced in St. Pete. By making small everyday changes, we can all help decrease the waste that can ends up in our landfills where it can produce greenhouse gases and other pollution.

Keep valuable items out of the landfill and help St. Pete achieve its Waste Reduction Goal for 2050. 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 for the landfill after one use. Many products, like plastics, can last for centuries in a landfill without breaking down.

Take Action:

  • Avoid products like plastic straws, plastic lids, plastic bags (including produce and snack bags), beverage containers and coffee cups, sleeves and pods. Did you know, St. Petersburg’s straw ordinance has helped reduce waste, litter and plastic pollution in our creeks and ocean? Learn more here.
  • 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.
  • Shop at package-free bulk stores – don’t forget to bring your own reusable containers!

2. Reduce

When you cannot refuse, reduce your consumption of items that have excess packaging or products you simply don't need where possible.

Take Action:

  • Minimize your food waste at home and beyond and only buy only what you will eat.
  • 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.
  • Choose items with minimal or no packaging, such as bar soap or bulk food, and buy local when possible.

Did you know, St. Petersburg’s straw ordinance has helped reduce waste, litter and plastic pollution in our creeks and ocean? Learn more here.

3. Repair

When possible, try to repair items that are broken. It saves money and reduces waste.

Take Action:

  • Mend clothing, shoes, furniture and household items instead of throwing them away.

4. Reuse

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

Take Action:

  • Purchase rechargeable batteries, such as camera batteries that can be recharged through a USB.
  • Donate to and shop at thrift stores for items like clothing, shoes, books, cookware, furniture and appliance.
  • Mend clothing, shoes, furniture and household items instead of throwing them away.
  • Use share programs for cars, bicycles, equipment, clothing and more to avoid buying things that you rarely use. Learn more at stpete.org/Transportation.

5. Recycle

When you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse, make sure to recycle to divert waste from the landfill.

Take Action:

  • Participate in St. Pete's Recycling Program and make sure you're recycling correctly at stpete.org/recycle.
  • Attend a free Household Hazardous Waste drop-off event. Learn more here.
  • Buy products made from recycled materials. Look for items with “post-consumer” material to save the natural resources like trees, water and energy used to produce new products

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.

Take Action:

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