St. Petersburg is one of the last big cities in Florida to embrace proper recycling.
After a bumpy start, city officials are focusing on improved communications with residents and finding ways to make alley pick-ups work.
St. Petersburg began distributing recycling bins in mid-May and gave each district an initial pick-up date, but some residents have been waiting more than a month for the first pickup. Updates and reminders would go a long way to help alleviate their justified complaints.
The bigger issue is making alley pickup work. Nearly 40 percent of St. Petersburg residents have their trash picked up in their alleys. City officials insist that their recycling trucks, which are 12 feet, 9 inches tall, 1 foot taller than the current trucks, will not fit in alleys.
We all agree that universal curbside recycling is good public policy. As St. Petersburg begins the program at the end of the month, city officials need to evaluate the problems in the system and work with residents to find acceptable solutions.