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City Council approves $1.1 million for new recycling trucks to serve alleys

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council unanimously approved $1.1 million to purchase four new sanitation trucks small enough to traverse narrow alley ways throughout the city.

The purchase is intended to make way for alleyway recycling in January.

The move comes after an ugly recycling rollout that led to several neighborhoods pleading with the city to accommodate homes where trash is collected from an alley rather than from the curb at the front of the home.

Such residences account for 40 percent of the city.

The universal curbside recycling program that launched this summer required participants to roll the large, 90-gallon bins to the front curbs. In homes with alley access, trash is typically collected in the alley and many of the homes do not have adequate places to store the bins where they could be easily moved to the front street.

After much consternation on the subject, Kriseman announced last month that the city would begin accommodating people who live in homes with alley access beginning in January.

The four trucks being purchased are much smaller than those purchased for curbside pickup. The larger trucks would not have been able to safely navigate all alleys.

The new trucks are also rear loading and do not have an automated arm that lifts the bins, eliminating any concerns about overgrowth in alleys. Instead, two city employees will staff the back of the trucks to dump the bins.

The change will not affect recycling schedules. There will also be no impact on people whose homes utilize curbside trash collection.

The vote was unanimous, with Steve Kornell being absent at the time of vote.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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