CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — An investigation into the City of Clearwater’s recycling program revealed its Solid Waste Department didn’t take any recyclables to the proper facility for months.

In a press release, city officials said recyclables weren’t taken to Waste Management for processing since June 2022.

The items were instead dumped at the Pinellas County Solid Waste Disposal Complex with all other trash. According to the city manager’s office, the details were learned from online NextDoor posts where community members made complaints.

When the investigation came to light, the Assistant Director for Clearwater’s Solid Waste Department, Bryant Johnson, resigned.

Clearwater city administrators state the Solid Waste department claimed staffing issues and equipment failure is why the change was made.

“Our actions as stewards of the public’s money spent on our recycling program has not matched what we said we stand for and that is not acceptable,” said Interim City Manager Jennifer Poirrier. “We have also not been open and transparent with our residents,” she added.

8 On Your Side asked Clearwater city officials if customers will be refunded the $3.80 billed monthly for recycling program services. City leaders replied they are still working on a solution.

As of this week, the city said one load of recyclables are being taken daily to Waste Management in Hillsborough County for processing as a short-term fix.

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