Study underway to provide details about materials collected through City of Sarasota’s single-stream recycling program

Tampa consulting firm team visited city last week to record data, city manager reports

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

With the City of Sarasota’s new single-stream recycling program up and running since April 2019, “and now with our seasonal residents back in town, the time is right for us to conduct a recycling composition study to find out exactly what types of materials are being collected from our residents,” City Manager Tom Barwin wrote in his Jan. 17 newsletter.

Last week, Barwin continued, a crew from Kessler Consulting of Tampa set up at the city’s transfer station “to take samples from more than 20 truckloads coming in from our residential recycling routes.”

Barwin added, “The items were weighed and sorted by type into various categories, including both the accepted materials (corrugated cardboard, newspaper, glass, aluminum, etc.) and various contaminants — pizza boxes, plastic bags, hazardous waste, etc. “

The results were recorded and will be compiled into a full report “that will give us a better understanding of what’s getting sent to the recycling facility at Waste Pro and what non-recyclables may be contaminating the loads,” Barwin wrote. “We collected a whopping 433 tons of recycling last month — compared to the 260 tons collected in December 2018 under our old two-bin system,” he pointed out. “That’s a 66 percent increase! So, this data will be extremely helpful in our efforts to educate our customers about what should and shouldn’t go in your recycling cart,” Barwin added.

“Remember,” Barwin noted, “if you’re not sure if something is recyclable, you can always check the handy info graphic on the lid of your recycling cart or visit this city webpage and type in a particular item. Thank you for doing your part by recycling properly and making our community more sustainable!

“To learn more about the study,” Barwin concluded his report, “watch this YouTube video.”