City of Sarasota Green City

Recycling

The City of Sarasota hopes to re-energize our local recycling movement, improve recycling rates, reduce recycling contamination and connect waste streams with productive uses. The City has a franchise agreement with Waste Management to provide all residential recycling services. Businesses within City limits are required to recycle, but may use a vendor of their choice. 

Why is recycling important? 

If we don't recycle an item, we waste the valuable resources that went into creating that item in the first place. Recycling helps preserve valuable landfill space and preserve natural resources like trees and energy. 

What happens if I recycle incorrectly?

There are many consequences to recycling incorrectly. Plastic bags can close down an entire recycling plant, making the process more costly for everyone. Liquid items can ruin an entire load, making valuable recyclables go the landfill where they take up space and contribute to the production of harmful methane gas. Putting sharp metal objects in your recycling can harm workers in the recycling plant. In order for our local recycling system to be efficient and affordable, we all need to chip-in by correctly separating our items that go into our solid waste, blue, green, and yard waste bins. 

What happens to my recycling after it's picked up?

After our local recycling is picked up it goes to a material recovery facility. This state-of-the-art facilities operates 21 hours a day with a maze of conveyor belts and specialized equipment. First workers pull out foreign objects such as plastic bags and dangerous items that could wrap around machinery, such as clothing, hangers, or hoses. Next there are spinning sprockets that send cardboard into a special bin. Then there is a rare earth magnet that sorts out tin and steel. And lastly, there's a machine with a special Eddie current to sort aluminum by repelling it into a specific bin. One of the other exciting features of a material recovery facility is equipment with electronic eyes that scan for specific shades and shapes of plastic, that then send jets of air that result in the desired material to fly into the correct bunker. Glass is the last remaining item, shaken to a bin and dumped. All these items are sorted into 'like' materials and compressed into a one ton block where they are then shipped to domestic and foreign mills for use in new material.

Recycling and solid waste service is managed out of our Public Works Department. To order carts, set up an account, or view your pick-up day please visit the Public Works recycling page by clicking HERE. If you have a recycling-specific question you can also call Waste Management directly at (941)753-7591.