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St. Petersburg Holds Off on Multifamily Recycling for Now

St. Petersburg Holds Off on Multifamily Recycling for Now

Getting apartment dwellers to recycle is often a challenge. Residents have less space in units for multiple receptacles. Trash areas in buildings are also often not large or well maintained. And collecting from facilities can also be tricky. As a result, recycling rates for multifamily buildings typically are well below what they are for single-family units.

When you throw on top of that the fact the well-documented issues recyclers are facing in terms of being profitable, it creates even less of an incentive to offer recycling services to multifamily units.

This is what’s occurring in St. Petersburg, Fla., where the city council has put on hold a pilot project aimed at offering recycling services to 21 apartment complexes.

The Tampa Bay Tribune has the report.

Low oil prices, a strong dollar and a weakening Chinese economy have contributed to the recycling crunch nationwide. The market isn't likely to change much in the next few years, said Sanitation Director Ben Shirley.

The news disappointed council members, but it wasn't unexpected.

"I'd been anticipating this looking at the market," said Darden Rice, who led the push for curbside recycling. "I think it's the right thing to. We can plan and prepare and have a program ready to go when the markets improve."

St. Petersburg was the last major city in Florida to adopt universal curbside recycling. So far, the latest participation rates show about 52 percent of single-family homes are taking part in the program. The city would like to eventually see 65 percent of its residents recycling, Dove said.

Read the full story here.

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