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St. Pete sanitation app lauded as useful recycling tool

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman is encouraging residents to take advantage of a city app called “St. Pete Collects” to help with the rollout of the city’s new recycling program.

“Our St. Pete Collects app is super helpful; solid waste/recycling info, reminders, Waste Wizard tool. Go to your Google Play or App store,” Kriseman wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday morning.

The app contains a tool in which users can enter an item into a search bar in the “Waste Wizard” tab. The App will then inform the users which bin that item should be placed – solid waste, normal trash or recycling.

The app also allows users to receive text notifications about trash and recycling

“You are now set up to receive collection reminders on the day before collection at 6:00 p.m. If you would like to modify or stop these reminders, please click on the menu icon at the top left of the app and then select notifications,” a popup informs the user after enabling notifications.

The options under the notifications tab allow the user to personalize when and how they are notified of trash and recycling pickup. The notification can be timed at any hour day or night either the day before or day of pickup.

The city asks that recycling bins be placed at the curb no earlier than 7 p.m. the day before pickup day, but by 7 a.m. the day of and that they be returned to a discreet place on the property by 7 p.m. after pickup.

Under the “my schedule” tab the app lists the date and what items, if any, are being collected that day. There is then a description of curbside recycling along with a list of allowable items.

Those include glass containers in all colors, aluminum and steel cans, steel jar lids, milk and juice cartons, drink boxes, plastics with the numbers 1-7 triangles, newspapers, magazines, mail, shopping ads, windowed envelopes and mixed paper and cardboard.

The app also lets users know that recyclables must be free of food particles to avoid contamination.

Below that message is a list of the city’s trash and recycling pickup days set to a personalized address to ensure the listings are correct.

When entering an address into the app a second popup appears to verify the address is correct.

This is especially important in areas where two zones are close to one another. Some neighboring zones are split along one street corner.

In the home section of the app offers tabs for recycling, trash, special pickup, lawn mower pickup and computer and TV pickup. There’s also a tab for mobile collection and to contact the city.

Under the recycling tab users can find more information about the city’s recycling programs and how to appropriately participate. It includes the expected timing of curbside placement of the new blue bins.

The tab points out “there is no need to separate acceptable materials” and that no garbage or yard waste should be placed in the bins.

The trash tab offers similar information about timing and placement of bins in homes where curbside trash is utilized. That includes placing the container within two feet of the curb with the lid opening facing the street. Those bins should also be placed on the left side of the home’s driveway from the perspective of facing the home.

Under special pickup the App offers a list of acceptable materials that can be scheduled for free pickup outside of normal solid waste service. Those items include box springs, car batteries, car tires, dishwashers, doors, dryers, sofas, refrigerators and mattresses and other parts of the bed as well as many others.

The pickup can’t be scheduled through the app, but the phone number to call is linked so users need only tap the phone number to reach the appropriate department.

The lawn mower pickup tab offers the same information and phone number. It stipulates that lawn mowers can be picked up for free as long as the gas tanks are empty. Riding lawn mowers aren’t accepted.

The same information applies to computer and television pickup.

The mobile pickup tab offers information about how to learn more about mobile device collection.

The app was created to encourage residents to participate in the new recycling program, but was designed to offer information about all sanitation-related issues.

Similar information is also available on the city’s website.

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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