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Press Release: City rolling out new recycling carts, officially launches single-stream collection

This press release was initially published and distributed by the City of Sarasota.

Sarasota, FL:  The City will begin rolling out new recycling carts for residents next week as it officially launches its “single-stream” collection service.

The 65-gallon carts will replace the smaller bins currently used for residential recycling. The new carts come with wheels for easy maneuvering and attached lids to keep your recyclables dry and prevent them from becoming litter. All recyclable materials can be placed together in the new carts.

Approximately 15,000 carts will be delivered to residential customers throughout March. Residents can start using those new carts on their regular collection days beginning April 1. Old recycling bins can then be placed curbside for pickup during the month of April so that the City can repurpose or recycle them.

The City’s contract with current provider Waste Pro expires March 31, and the Solid Waste division of the Public Works Department will take over recycling and bulk waste item collection in April.

City officials ask that residents continue to do their part by placing only recyclable materials in their carts, including aluminum and steel cans, food and beverage cartons, glass bottles and jars, paper products (newspaper, magazines and flattened cardboard) and empty plastic bottles and containers.

Some items that can’t be recycled: plastic bags, pizza boxes, clothing, linens, anything containing food or liquid and any wires, hoses or chains that could tangle recycling equipment. These items often get mixed into recycling carts because of what’s known as “wishcycling,” or hoping that they can be recyclable – but they can cause serious issues, officials say.

“Those types of items contaminate the truckload and could cause delays and shutdowns of our recycling process, damage the sorting equipment or even injure our workers,” said Public Works General Manager Todd Kucharski. “Decreased production and increased operational costs can ultimately cause your utility bills to go up. Please do your part to recycle smart.”

For more information and instructions on what can and can’t be recycled, plus other Frequently Asked Questions, visit sarasotafl.gov/becartsmart.

To reduce costs, the City applied for and received a grant of more than $100,000 from The Recycling Partnership to help pay for the new carts. Sarasota was one of only six cities nationwide selected to receive the nonprofit’s Coastal and Waterway Community Recycling Grant, which also includes funding for education, outreach and litter cleanup activities.

“This grant will be a big boost in helping us to promote recycling and make it easier for people to do their part in protecting our environment,” said Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes. “Recycling is especially critical in a coastal community like Sarasota, where plastics and other harmful materials can be diverted from our shores and waterways.”

For more information about recycling, contact the Solid Waste Division at 941-365-7651 or visit sarasotafl.gov/becartsmart.