Manatee to roll out new recycling carts starting Monday

New 64-gallon recycling carts will start being delivered to Manatee residents Monday as the county rolls out its Single Stream Recycling program.

With no cost to the county or taxpayers, the new carts, which replace the existing 18-gallon bins, will be delivered to residents living in unincorporated Manatee County through the end of September. Waste Management and Waste Pro purchased the new containers.

Color coded maps of the delivery schedule from both Waste Pro and Waste Management are available at mymanatee.org/recycling.

The shift to Single Stream Recycling is another step in the county’s goal to increase participation in recycling. By 2020, the county is aiming to reach the state’s 75 percent recycling goal, which means only 25 percent of solid waste generated in the county will be buried in the landfill.

“It is much easier and convenient and cleaner and safer,” said David Pickup, manager of special waste in the county’s utilities department.

The county will still collect the same materials, such as plastic and paper, and service days will remain the same. The old bins will be collected and recycled if residents choose not to keep them.

“There is no sorting,” Pickup said. “Everything goes into one container. We are promoting it as easy and convenient. You just fill it up, close the lid and wheel it to the curb.”

The county is asking residents to try using the cart for at least 90 days, which allows for all carts to be delivered.

“It has also been shown in roll-outs in other locations, that having customers use the cart is very beneficial in residents’ acceptance of the size and convenience,” Mike Gore, the county’s utilities director, told county commissioners in a memo. “Our conversations with callers to date have been mostly understanding and willing to use the cart for the 90 days. With this being said, we realize that there will be those individuals who are adamant about not participating in recycling at all or who refuse to use the 64-gallon cart. We assure you that those residents will have their cart picked up through our regular service order system upon their call into our Call Center.”

As a way to handle the anticipated increased call volume, the utilities department has hired three temporary customer service representatives, who will begin Friday for training, according to the memo.

Manatee County hit the 51 percent recycling mark at the end of 2014 and needs to be at 60 percent by the end of this year, Pickup has said.

“We have always moved forward to achieve any of the goals that the state has asked us to do,” he said. “You can recycle all materials together plus coming together to achieve goal.”

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson

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