Editor’s Note: This report previously stated that Waste Management was not recycling the material it received from the city of Clearwater, when in reality, the city was only sending the company a fraction of its recyclables. We regret the error.
CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — The City of Clearwater approved a new contract on Thursday with Waste Connections to take over the city’s recycling.
Many people go out of their way to make sure what they throw away goes in the proper containers, so when it was revealed that six months of recycling in Clearwater was dumped into a landfill, there was a call to action.
An investigation found the City of Clearwater was only sending a fraction of its recyclable material to its former contractor, Waste Management. Clearwater’s Solid Waste Department then went through a massive staff overhaul.
Kervin St. Aimie is the new director of the Clearwater Solid Waste and Recycling Department.
“We lost trust in our residents because of what happened in the past,” St. Aimie said. “My goal when I was assigned to the position was to try to gain that trust back to our residents.”
However, some residents vocalized their disappointment during the meeting.
“My faith isn’t restored because they didn’t do anything,” Clearwater resident Kathy Flaherty said. “They just got a new contract.”
Stephen Sarnoff is worried the cost of not recycling is too high and will put a strain on the Pinellas County landfill.
“We just have to get through the problem’s and cooperate,” he said. “When there are problems, the city needs to let people know they made some bad decisions.”
The city also approved issuing customer credits for recycling service charges for the period of July through December 2022. The city will issue the $20.28 in credit starting Oct. 1.