TAMPA, FLA — Tampa city leaders and the solid waste department said Tampa has too much trash, and it’s not good for the environment.
In an effort to reduce the amount of solid waste, the city is launching the “Spring it Forward” initiative. The goal, according to officials, is to get residents to keep furniture, clothes, power tools and other things out of the trash.
Solid Waste Director Larry Washington, said those things should be repurposed or donated to local charities or consignment shops.
“This initiative is important because those things don’t belong in the trash,” Washington said. “Also, this initiative is awareness. We want to make sure our customers, the citizens, are aware of what they can do with those items instead of trashing them. Some of that stuff can be repurposed and/or donated to local charities.”
According to the solid waste department, the McKay Bay Waste Facility experiences an increase in tonnage each March. In March 2021, there was a 22% increase in waste generated.
"We built a new transfer station — that's twice as large— just to handle all the volume,” said Stephan Swan, who is the chief of operations for the solid waste department.
“In order to reduce the amount of waste, the city has to do anything possible to keep it out of the waste stream and just divert it,” he said.
Along with the initiative, the city has launched the new Tampa Trash and Recycling app.
“This app streamlines the process for you,” Washington said. “If you’re wondering what you cannot bring to a consignment shop or donate, you can type exactly what you want to look for and it’ll give you exact coordinates on where you can or cannot drop something off, along with a list of charities that will pick your donations."
In order to learn more about the Spring It Forward Initiative and the App, you can go to the city’s website.