St. Pete set to roll out recycling program today

A new recycling program is rolling out to the curbs of St. Petersburg.

More than 77,000 residents received 95-gallon blue bins over the last few weeks, encouraging them to recycle glass, paper and plastic among other items.

"I was expecting it to be a small Tupperware size, and this is actually better for us," said Amy Smith. "We've just been kind of collecting it ourselves, taking it down the road to the recycling center and dumping it out every week or every couple of weeks."

St. Petersburg is one of the last major cities in Florida to implement a recycling program.

While some residents have embraced the large bins sitting in their yards, others are not in favor.

The Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association (HONNA) has complained the bins are an eye sore when residents leave them on the curb prior to pick up days, overflowing with items.

Others are concerned that recycling trucks will be too large to navigate their narrow streets and allies. Several historic homes in the area were not designed for curbside collection.

"The more historic, or traditional neighborhoods, tend to have the tighter streets with the alley configurations," explained Peter Motzenbecker, President of the Council of Neighborhood Association.

Some homeowners are upset about a fee of $2.95 per month that will be applied whether they use the bins or not.

HONNA is hosting a press conference Monday at 11 a.m. to voice their concerns on curbside recycling. The press conference will be held at 112 Tenth Avenue Northeast, in the alley behind the home of association president Peter Motzenbecker.

Prior to the press conference, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman will also host a press conference at 9:30 a.m. celebrating the recycling program launching. Mayor Kriseman will speak at a residence at 161 19th Avenue South.