What solid waste service changes are taking place?

  1. Garbage will be collected curbside once per week instead of twice weekly. Garbage, recyclable materials, and yard waste will all be collected on the same day of the week.
  2. The types of recyclable materials collected will be expanded. All plastic bottles with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 on the bottom, milk and juices cartons or boxes, and aluminum foil and food trays without residue can be placed in your blue recycling bin. You can also place telephone directories and pizza boxes in your green recycling bin.
  3. Special wastes may now be collected curbside. Special wastes include white goods (appliances), e-waste (end-of-life computers, monitors, printers, televisions, etc.), tires (up to 4 per pickup at a single address), used oil (up to 5 gallons per pickup, placed in clear plastic containers with screw-on lids), used oil filters (up to 5 filters per pickup, placed in clear zip-locked plastic bags), and bulky waste (furniture, etc.).
  4. The City will be contracting with a different company – Waste Management – to collect recyclable materials, yard waste, and bulky waste.
  5. Residential solid waste customer rates are being reduced by $3.00 per month.

When do these service changes go into effect?

September 1, 2010

Why is the City switching to once per week garbage collection?

To improve operating efficiency: By reducing the number of miles traveled by collection trucks, the City will reduce fuel and oil consumption, use fewer tires, and generate less vehicle emissions. By switching to once a week garbage collection, we will use 3,760 fewer gallons of fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by 40 tons per year.

  1. To encourage recycling: The average Sarasota resident generates 3 ˝ pounds of solid waste every day, nearly half of which is recyclable. The City has the potential to significantly increase recycling and reduce disposal, which is good for the environment and saves money for the City and its residents.
  2. To reduce costs of collection and enable customer rates to remain stable: Customer rates have not increased since October 1, 2006. During that time, costs have substantially increased for every aspect of solid waste services, from gasoline and equipment costs to landfill disposal fees and operating costs. Residential solid waste rates will be reduced by $3.00 per month.

Is weekly collection of garbage sanitary?

Many communities in Florida collect garbage weekly, including Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties, as well as the cities of Ft. Myers, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Cape Coral, Jacksonville, Lakeland, and Deltona. Over 2.5 million unincorporated Florida residents receive once weekly collection frequency. Larger wheeled containers with lids (typically used with automated collection programs) are specially designed to contain odors and keep out pests.

What is my new collection schedule?

You will receive a postcard in the mail with your designated day. Garbage, recyclable materials, and yard waste will all be picked up on the same day of the week. Any bulky waste, such as furniture and appliances, should be placed curbside on your regular collection day. If it is not picked up on the regular collection route, it will be picked up within 48 hours. You can also check the website for your collection day at: www.sarasotagreencity.com.

Will curbside recycling and yard waste collection service change?

The types of recyclable materials that can be placed in your recycling bins are being expanding. You can now place all plastic bottles with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 on the bottom, milk and juices cartons or boxes, and aluminum foil and food trays without residue can be placed in your blue recycling bin. You can also place telephone directories and pizza boxes in your green recycling bin.

Yard waste collection is not changing. Both recyclables and yard waste will be picked up on the same day of the week as your garbage.

You may also place the following items at the curb for pickup on your recycling and garbage collection day: e-waste including computers, monitors, televisions; tires (up to 4 per pickup); used oil (up to 5 gallons per pickup, placed in clear plastic containers with screw-on lids); and used oil filters (up to 5 filters per pickup, placed in clear zip-locked plastic bags)

How do I prepare special wastes?

You may place special waste at the curb for pickup by 7:00 AM on your recycling and garbage collection day. Special waste includes:

  • White goods (inoperative refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, freezers, washers, dryers, and other similar large domestic appliances of any color with doors removed);
  • E-wastes (inoperative electronic equipment such as computers, monitors, televisions, cathode ray tubes, printers, scanners, fax machines);
  • Tires (up to four per pickup at a single address);
  • Used oil (up to five gallons per pickup, placed in clear plastic containers with screw-on lids);
  • Used oil filters (up to five filters per pickup, placed in clear zip-locked plastic bags);
  • Bulk waste (large residential items including sofas, tables, bathroom fixtures, furniture, appliances not considered white goods, ladders, carpet, residentially generated construction and demolition debris).

If special waste is not removed within 48 hours of your weekly collection day, please call (941) 355-9600.

How do I prepare yard waste?

You may place your shrub trimmings, grass clippings, leaves, palm fronds and tree limbs less than 48 inches in length and 50 pounds in weight (bundled or stacked) at the curb in cans, containers, boxes, or bags on your weekly collection day. Containers must be 32 gallons or less and no more than 50 pounds in weight. Please place yard waste at the curb by 7:00 AM on your weekly collection day.

Please do not use your 96-gallon garbage cart, 55-gallon drums, wheelbarrows, garden carts for yard waste. Please do not mix yard waste with household garbage or any other waste.

Will the service change affect my rates?

The City is reducing residential customer rates by $3.00 per month.

What about large families that require more capacity?

Your 96-gallon garbage cart should provide sufficient capacity for once-per-week collection if you are actively recycling. Please note that recycling is mandatory in the City of Sarasota. Before ordering an additional garbage cart, please ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you participate in recycling?
  • Are you aware of what items are recyclable?
  • Do you have enough recycling bins to hold your recyclables?
  • Are you practicing source reduction (purchasing items with less packaging (buy in bulk), purchasing items that are reusable, and donating unwanted items before discarding)?
  • Are you participating in backyard composting?

Additional carts are available for a monthly fee of $10.00 per cart (up to three carts maximum). To request an additional cart, please contact the City of Sarasota Utility Billing office at:  941-954-4197 or 941-954-4196.

What if I need additional recycling bins?

Customers desiring more than two recycling bins may purchase additional bins directly from Waste Management for a one-time fee of $5.00 per bin. Please call Waste Management at: (941) 355-9600.

What items can be placed in my recycling bins?

  • Recyclable materials to be placed in your blue recycling bin include aluminum cans, foil, and food trays without residue; steel/tin cans, glass bottles and jars of all colors; metal jar lids, plastic bottles marked on the bottom with a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7; and polycoated paper cartons (milk and juice cartons and boxes).
  • Recyclable materials to be placed in your green recycling bin include newspapers; flattened cardboard; junk mail; magazines; telephone directories; white or colored paper; brown paper bags; cereal boxes, pizza boxes; and paper of just about any type that is not contaminated by food, metal, glue, etc.

How will this affect me if I live in a multi-family dwelling (e.g., apartment, condominium, etc.) or mobile home park?

The change to once per week garbage collection will only affect those residents with curbside collection.  If the building or complex you live in is serviced by a dumpster, your landlord or property manager should notify you if there is any change to your service.

What do I do with recyclables if I am a small business?

Small commercial businesses may drop off recyclables at the City of Sarasota transfer station located at: 1325 N. Osprey Avenue in Sarasota, Florida

How are customers being notified of this service change?

Residents are being notified in a number of ways including direct mail notices, flyers and magnet on garbage cart, reminder post-it notes on garbage carts, newspaper ads, and the City’s website.

Where can I find out more about the service changes?

By checking out the City’s website: www.sarasotagreencity.com

What should I do with leftover paints, chemicals, spent fluorescent lights, and other household hazardous wastes?

Take them to one of Sarasota County's Chemical Collection Centers for safe disposal for no charge. Proof of residency may be required. Additional information can be found at: Sarasota County Collection Sites

  • North Sarasota County Chemical Collection Center 8750 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota Wednesday - Saturday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Central Sarasota County Central County Solid Waste Landfill Facility (Central County landfill) 4010 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • South Sarasota County Chemical Collection Center 250 S. Jackson Road, Venice Wednesday – Saturday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Now that waste is collected once a week, what happens on holidays?

What happens if I have temporary excess garbage from a holiday or hosting a party?

Please make arrangements for pickups of excess residential household garbage by calling 941-365-7651 or 941-365-7652.  Excess residential household garbage pickup rates are currently $36.14 per cubic yard with a minimum of $26.24.  If a holiday falls on your regularly scheduled pickup day, your pickup will be pushed to the next day.

Check out these Facts about recycling:

Approximately 60% of our rubbish thrown away today could be recycled. A survey revealed that  9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would recycle more if it was easier. The City of Sarasota is making it easier for you to recycle.

Aluminum Recycling Facts

A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days. That's closed loop recycling at its finest.

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours - or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.

An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!

There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can can be recycled.

At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!

Paper Recycling Facts

If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.

Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.

The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.

Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!

The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years. The 17 trees saved for each ton of paper recycled can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Plastic Recycling Facts

Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!

Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!

Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.

Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.

Glass Recycling Facts

Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper. All of these jars are recyclable!

The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.

A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.

Solid Waste and Landfills

The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the world's waste.

The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.

Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.

On a national average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.

Miscellaneous Recycling Facts

An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space -- that's almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.

A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.

Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.

On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.

Plastics that are recycled by the City of Sarasota


Type of plastic

Common packaging uses

Common recycled use


Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET)

Beverage and food bottles and containers

Textiles, including clothing and carpet; film, food, and beverage containers; luggage.


High density polyethylene (HDPE)

Beverage and food bottles and containers; dish and laundry detergent bottles; grocery, trash and retail bags

Nonfood containers, including laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, and motor oil bottles; plastic lumber, pipe, buckets, crates, flower pots, film, recycling bins, floor tiles.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl)

Food and non-food packaging; medical tubing; siding, window frames, floor tiles and carpet backing

Packaging, loose-leaf binders, decking, paneling, gutters, mud flaps, film, floor tiles and mats, electrical equipment, traffic cones, garden hoses, mobile home skirting


Low density polyethylene (LDPE)

Dry cleaning, bread and frozen food bags, squeezable bottles

Shipping envelopes, garbage can liners, floor tile, plastic lumber, film, compost bins, trash cans


Polypropylene (PP)

Food and medicine containers and bottles

Automobile battery cases, signal lights, brooms, brushes, ice scrapers, oil funnels, bicycle racks, rakes


Polystyrene (PS)

Cups, plates, cutlery, compact disc jackets, egg cartons

Thermometers, light switch plates, thermal insulation, egg cartons, vents, rulers, license plate frames, foam packing and dishware


Other (often polycarbonate (PC))

Reusable water bottles, beverage and food bottles

Bottles, plastic lumber