St. Pete Council tries to ease woes of recycling whiners, er, critics

click to enlarge St. Pete Council tries to ease woes of recycling whiners, er, critics - courtesy of the city of st. petersburg
courtesy of the city of st. petersburg
St. Pete Council tries to ease woes of recycling whiners, er, critics

So, the recycling bin rollout (literally, amiright!) in St. Pete has been a tad shaky to say the least.

Basically, instead of being happy the last major city in the state is finally doing curbside (what the hell took so long?!), a vocal minority has been complaining about the 96-gallon bins outside their homes being all big and not in keeping with the surrounding neighborhood's quaint aesthetic or whatever. Some want the bins to be placed in the alleyways behind their homes (as opposed to curbside), but the city's trucks are too wide to oblige such a method of pickup.

Representatives from low-income communities are also concerned about the burden $3 a month would impose on people who are barely scraping by.

Also, some parts of town were given the bins in May, and began to fill them, not knowing when recycling pickup would actually begin (it hasn't yet) and the putrefaction of old cat food and cabernet sauvignon dregs ensued.

But people seemed most pissed about the aesthetics issue. One sad little person even suggested in an email to the city that Mayor Rick Kriseman should be removed from office because she thinks the bins are a "monstrosity," according to the Tampa Bay Times.

On Thursday, St. Petersburg's City Council and select staffers talked about how to ease residents' minds.

Public works administrator Mike Connors said the city would be flexible as the recycling program launches.

"We'll start with front yard pickup and see where we can get better," he said, according to the Times.

The city has gotten only 241 complaints out of tens of thousands of bins rolled out.

That could be because the overwhelming majority of residents are just happy that the city is finally doing what some locales have been doing for decades: picking up recyclables rather than making the most conscientious among us haul all of our bottles and cans to a facility every few weeks or months, or else pay a private company to make pickups.

"Everybody else has done this," said St. Pete City Councilman Karl Nurse. "This is the opposite of leading edge."

Councilman Steve Kornell also pointed out that the city can't afford to keep, er, contributing to the landfill at its current rate, or it's going to get pricey.

"If we don't do this, we're going to have to go to way more expensive solutions," he said.

Yes, but this is St, Pete, where residents would demand a referendum on the color of the terlets in city buildings if they could.

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