City of Sarasota rolls out new recycling carts

Single-stream collections to begin April 1

Image courtesy City of Sarasota

The City of Sarasota began rolling out new recycling carts for residents this week as it officially launches its “single-stream” collection service.

The 65-gallon carts will replace the smaller bins that have been in use for residential recycling, a city news release says. “The new carts come with wheels for easy maneuvering and attached lids to keep your recyclables dry and prevent them from becoming litter,” the release adds. “All recyclable materials can be placed together in the new carts,” it points out.

Approximately 15,000 carts will be delivered to residential customers throughout March, the release adds. Residents can start using those new carts on their regular collection days beginning April 1, it notes. Old recycling bins then can be placed curbside for pickup during the month of April, so the city can re-purpose or recycle them, the release explains.

The city’s contract with its current recycling provider, Waste Pro, will expire on March 31, the release points out. The Solid Waste Division of the Public Works Department will take over recycling and bulk waste item collection in April, the release says.

In his March 1 newsletter, City Manager Tom Barwin added, “To help pay for the new carts, City staff applied for and received a grant for [more than] $100,000 from The Recycling Partnership. Great work! Sarasota is just one of six cities selected to receive this Coastal and Waterway Community Recycling Grant,” he added.

That grant also covers the expense of education and outreach about recycling, as well as litter cleanup.

City staff asks 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 (newspapers, magazines and flattened cardboard), and empty plastic bottles and containers.

Among items that cannot be recycled are plastic bags, pizza boxes, clothing, linens, anything containing food or liquid, and any wires, hoses or chains that could tangle recycling equipment, the release stresses. “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.”

A graphic provides details about the recycling program in the City of Sarasota. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

“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 in the release. “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 cannot be recycled, plus other Frequently Asked Questions, visit