SOLID WASTE [SW]
As a growing community, Pinellas County must continue to develop a waste reduction management strategy to mitigate increased quantities of solid waste as a result of growth. Future population growth and related growth in solid waste generation are analyzed for determining appropriate programs and management systems, including capital facility needs and funding to alleviate impacts. The Board of County Commissioners, by County ordinance, is responsible for the disposal of municipal solid waste in Pinellas County, but the collection of solid waste is the responsibility of the individual municipalities. In most areas of unincorporated Pinellas County, residents make their own arrangements for solid waste collection with private contractors. The goals, objectives and policies are intended to support the safe and environmentally sound collection and disposal of solid and hazardous waste.
- 13 billion pounds of paper towels are thrown away each year in the U.S., an average of two rolls per week for a family. Instead of using single-use paper towels, use dish cloths and rags for cleaning and drying.
- 9.6 billion pounds of plastic wrap is thrown away each year in the U.S. Reduce plastic wrap waste by using containers with lids, silicone covers or reusable wrap – or just cover your bowl with a plate.
- 300 million pounds of food are thrown away in the U.S. every day, an average of 1 pound per person. Prevent waste by making a list ahead of time and buying only what you need.
- You can help extend the life of the County’s landfill by recycling. If your community does not offer curbside recycling, you can bring your recyclables to one of the many County drop-off facilities. You can help make recycling the best it can be by recycling only the items specified in your community’s recycling program. When in doubt, leave it out of recycling. For a complete list of drop-off locations and items accepted, please visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/solidwaste/recycle-guide/default.htm.
Use the County’s Where Does It Go? Guide http://www.pinellascounty.org/solidwaste/wheredoesitgo/ to find out how to recycle, reuse or properly dispose of over 450 items.
Goals, Objectives, Policies & Strategies
PROVIDE FOR THE SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY AND ENHANCE THE ENVIRONMENT.
Develop and maintain an integrated Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP).
Maintain the Solid Waste and Management Program in coordination with a Solid Waste Master Plan and Strategic Plan to address:
- Management and minimization of the solid waste stream;
- Collection, transfer and handling of solid waste;
- Management and operation of waste reduction facilities and programs;
- Operate, maintain and close landfills belonging to Pinellas County; and
- Regional infrastructure and resource sharing.
Maintain a solid waste master plan to evaluate existing needs, balance disposal capacity, and project future needs.
Demonstrate consistency with all chapters of this comprehensive plan.
Establish a countywide level of service following the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Waste Management Hierarchy: source reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery and disposal.
Maintain a countywide disposal capacity of 1.30 tons per person per year.
Cooperate with each municipality to ensure fiscally and environmentally sound collection, transport and disposal of solid waste. The level of service standard for the collection, transport and disposal of solid waste will be established by the comprehensive plan of each municipality.
Ensure improvements to the integrated solid waste management program to preserve landfill life and maintain the adopted level of service.
Work with Regional Solid Waste Partners to share resources and infrastructure to optimize energy generation and preserve landfill life.
Comply with established federal and state standards for the management of solid waste and hazardous waste.
Design, construct, operate and maintain all solid waste facilities to meet established federal and state standards.
Ensure that solid waste management operations are fiscally sound.
Manage the solid waste collection and disposal system based on sound fiscal policy and the best practices of high-performance solid waste management systems.
Regularly evaluate and identify the need for improvements and additional capacity required to manage solid waste collection, transport and disposal.
Prepare a capital improvements program annually. Projects will be evaluated and ranked for inclusion in the multi-year schedule of improvements.
Coordinate solid waste management operations with municipalities.
Per County ordinance, the technical management committee shall represent municipalities and private haulers and coordinate solid waste management.
Provide community education regarding the proper handling, collection, recycling and disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste.
Collaborate with public and private entities to develop and disseminate public educational programs and materials regarding the proper handling, collection, recycling, transport and disposal of solid waste.
Provide business education and outreach efforts to provide information on proper handling of hazardous materials and other prohibited materials.
Minimize the generation of solid waste to conserve natural resources, recover resources which have the potential for further usefulness, and to extend the life of the landfill.
Construct, operate and maintain facilities designed to reduce the waste stream reaching the landfill.
Provide for the separation and removal of recyclables from the solid waste stream.
Operate and maintain the capacity and function of the waste to energy facility.
Operate and maintain all waste stream reduction facilities in compliance with established federal and state standards.
Expand and enhance the capacity and function of the waste to energy facility to meet projected demand and improved technology.
Identify additional technologies, facilities, and programs that may be required to meet projected demand.
Identify and implement policies, processes and programs to achieve Zero Waste to landfill.
Continue a solid waste reduction and recycling program to minimize solid waste disposal needs and maximize existing facilities’ capacity and life.
Promote and collaborate with private and non-profit recycling firms to operate within the County.
Provide incentives for municipal, charitable and non-profit organizations to recycle.
Develop and implement a recycling program for County facilities and operations.
For County procurements give priority to the purchase of products and supplies made from recycled materials.
Promote and expand curbside recycling programs.
Provide broad community education regarding methods and practices that reduce the solid waste stream.
Collaborate with public and private entities to develop and disseminate public educational programs and materials regarding methods and practices that reduce the solid waste stream.
Provide for the safe and sanitary collection, handling and transport of solid waste to protect the public health and safety.
Provide for the collection of solid waste from residences and businesses within the unincorporated county.
Maintain a network to facilitate collection and transport of solid waste.
Cooperate with municipalities to ensure the safe and environmentally sound collection and transport of solid waste.
The SWMP will include plans, programs and siting criteria to support solid waste collection, transport and disposal in a cost-effective, efficient and environmentally sound manner.
Ensure the safe, sanitary and environmentally sound disposal of solid waste to protect the public health and safety and to enhance the environment.
The Board of County Commissioners has the sole responsibility for the disposal of solid waste within Pinellas County.
Design, construct and operate all solid waste disposal facilities to meet established federal and state standards.
Support federal and state programs for the management of hazardous waste to reduce the hazardous waste stream to the environment.
Implement a hazardous waste management program for County departments and operations.
Provide technical assistance and education to users and generators regarding the management of hazardous waste.
Disseminate educational material to the public emphasizing pollution prevention by using alternatives to hazardous materials.
Utilize the Land Development Code to address the siting of hazardous waste transfer facilities and disposal facilities.
Coordinate with the Forward Pinellas to regulate the transport of hazardous materials within the County.
Provide and maintain a household electronics and chemical collection center.
Solid waste management and disposal sites will be limited in the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA).
New landfills will be limited in the CHHA.
Utilize the Land Development Code to limit solid waste and disposal sites within the CHHA.