Mayor: it's way past time for curbside recycling in St. Pete - FOX 13 News

Mayor: it's way past time for curbside recycling in St. Pete

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said Thursday he is waiting for a staff presentation on curbside recycling, which should be within a couple of weeks.

"I'm looking forward to the day when we have universal curbside recycling here in St. Pete," Kriseman told FOX 13 News. "We're going to do it. It's just a question of how to do it, do it as cost-effectively as possible, have the least impact on our citizens as possible, but we need to do it."

The city currently provides drop-off centers for residents who wish to voluntarily recycle. That effort is dwarfed by that of cities such as Clearwater, which recently gave residential customers recycling containers that are the same size as their trash containers.

As a result, Clearwater is now diverting about half of its waste stream to recycling, and is considering reducing non-recyclable pickups from twice a week to once a week.

Clearwater also provides curbside recycling services to several other Pinellas communities.

"To have one of the largest cities in the state not have curbside recycling I think is not really acceptable," Kriseman said.

His comments came after a news conference at North Shore Park, where a large swimming pool will soon be equipped with energy saving heating, cooling and filtration devices.

Public Works Administrator Mike Conners also spoke to reporters, sporting a new title: Director of the Office of Sustainability and Green Initiatives.

"Giving him that title that reports directly to me gives it a different air of importance," the new mayor explained. "I think that's necessary because nowadays, it's creating that culture that's also a part of what you do."

Kriseman was a consistent advocate of environmental initiatives as a city councilman and made "green think" a major part of his campaign.

Conners became public works administrator under former Mayor Bill Foster and continues to oversee projects started by Foster. Two of the most significant also involve refuse: The conversion of the city's sanitation fleet from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas, and a biomass conversion plant now in the design-engineering phase.

That facility will produce methane gas from sewage sludge, providing fuel for the sanitation trucks.

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