CLEARWATER, Florida – Give your garbage collector a big splash to celebrate National Solid Waste and Recycling Worker’s Week. These men and women play a vital role in keeping Clearwater shiny and beautiful.
Lots of people forget about their trash once they throw it out, but the town would be a gross place without the Solid Waste and Recycling team at Clearwater. Garbage can invade cities in a matter of days. Fortunately, we don’t have to live with trash, thanks to Clearwater’s sanitation staff.
“The men and women of the solid waste industry are truly unsung heroes, working hard every day to keep the community clean and healthy,” said Earl Gloster, Director of Solid Waste and Corporate Services.
The city’s solid waste and recycling teams include more than the front-line workers who remove trash and recycling from sidewalks. You may not know these crews who are also an important part of our team:
- Operations team. The city’s operations team of five employees receives an average of 1,400 calls per month and processes inquiries from all residential and commercial accounts, representing approximately 27,500 customers. Customer requests may include rolling containers that need to be emptied or when residents request a container repair. They know all aspects of the city’s waste and recycling services. They too communicate with city drivers by radio, make driver and maintenance work requests, and provide top notch customer service.
- Transfer station Team. Where does your waste go after it has been picked up? The trucks that pick up your barrels don’t go straight to the landfill. City trucks pick up trash from sidewalks and dumpsters, then dump the compressed trash at the Clearwater transfer station when full. The garbage is then loaded into larger specialized trucks, which take it to the Pinellas County site, where it is then sent either to the waste-to-energy plant (where it is burned) or to the landfill. This allows solid waste trucks to operate in neighborhoods serving customers, rather than going back and forth out of town to empty solid waste trucks.
The transfer station team can move 650 tonnes of waste on a busy day with a staff of 11. They are essential to the efficiency and sustainability of the solid waste service.
- Container maintenance team. The solid waste service has a team of nine people dedicated to keeping drums and skips in good condition. This includes approximately 3,600 commercial dumpsters, 28,000 residential black barrels for solid waste, 28,000 residential blue barrels for recycling, 400 multi-family recycling carts, 210 rolling containers and 90 compactors. They hand over containers to new customers, collect containers at the end of service, and replace or repair damaged containers on site.
They do whatever is necessary to make sure the containers are usable for customers like repairing holes and wear, painting, adding proper labeling, making sure the wheels work, changing the lids, and more. To reduce waste and maximize the life of containers, they are secured and refurbished until they reach the end of their useful life. This team has a range of skills, including welding, and works tirelessly to get their jobs done on schedule.
Thank you to all of the city’s outstanding Solid Waste and Recycling employees for their dedication to keeping Clearwater shiny and beautiful.
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