City of Clearwater Celebrates Its Solid Waste Teams

 Waste and Recycling Workers Week

Give your garbage man or woman a big high-five in celebration of National Solid Waste and Recycling Workers Week. These men and women play a vital role in keeping Clearwater bright and beautiful.

Many people forget about their garbage once they throw it away, but the city would be a disgusting place without Clearwater’s solid waste and recycling team. Garbage can overrun cities in a matter of days. Fortunately, we don’t have to live with waste, thanks to Clearwater’s sanitation staff.

Solid waste workers at Operation Shred

Frontline Solid Waste and Recycling Workers and Equipment Operators

This is our team that keeps Clearwater’s neighborhoods and streets bright and beautiful. They work hard every day to pick up and properly dispose of everything our residents set at their curbs.This is a photo of an employee helping residents dispose of old papers at Operation Shred.Our team of more than 50 people drive 26 trucks all around the city to pick up trash, recycling, yard waste and bulk items from residences every business day, with exception of New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.They work in all conditions, including the rain and extreme heat of the summer. After Hurricane Ian last year, they worked diligently to pick up debris in just two weeks, while others in Tampa Bay had a significant backlog.During Hurricane Irma in 2017, our crews worked 10-hour days, six days a week, for three or four months, in order to clear yard waste until every branch and twig was removed from city neighborhoods.Keep them safe by properly disposing of rechargeable batteries to avoid fires and slowing down to pass vehicles in service.If you aren’t sure what goes at the curb or how to dispose of something, check out the Pinellas County A-Z Where-Does-It-Go Tool, or call our operations team, which is available daily from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assist customers with their solid waste needs. 

Transfer Station Team

The city’s solid waste and recycling teams include more than just the front-line workers who remove trash and recycling from the curb.

Solid waste worker smiling

Where does your trash go after it is picked up? The trucks that pick up your barrels do not drive directly to the landfill. City trucks pick up trash from the curb and dumpsters and then empty the compressed waste at the Clearwater Transfer Station when they’re full. The garbage then is loaded into larger, specialized trucks, which take it to the Pinellas County site, where it is then taken to either the waste-to-energy plant (where it is burned) or to the landfill. This keeps solid waste trucks at work in the neighborhoods serving customers, rather than driving back and forth outside of the city to empty out truckloads of solid waste.

The team at the Transfer Station can move 650 tons of trash on a busy day with a staff of 11 people. They are key to the efficiency and sustainability of the Solid Waste Department.

Container Maintenance Team

This is an employee who is welding a dumpster at Clearwater Solid WasteThe Solid Waste department has a team of nine people, who are dedicated to keeping the barrels and dumpsters 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 roll-off containers, and 90 compactors. They issue containers to new customers, pick up containers upon termination of service, and replace or make on-site repairs to damaged containers.

They do everything needed to ensure containers are usable for customers, such as fixing holes and wear, painting, adding proper labeling, ensuring wheels are working, changing lids, and beyond. To reduce waste and maximize the cost-effective life of the containers, they are fixed and refurbished until they reach the end of their working life. This team has a range of skills, including welding, and they work tirelessly to get their work done in a timely manner.

Operations Team

This is an employee who is answering the Solid Waste Operations LineThe city’s operations team of five staff receives an average of 1,400 calls a month, and it handles requests from all residential and commercial accounts, which is about 27,500 customers. Customer requests may include roll-off containers that need emptied or when residents ask to get a container repaired. 

They have knowledge of all aspects of the city’s trash and recycling services. They also communicate with city drivers via radio, make work request tickets for drivers and maintenance, and provide top-notch customer service. You can reach a member of our Operations Team at (727) 562-4920.

Thank You for All You Do!

This is a woman who is smiling and standing next to a Clearwater solid waste truck

Thank you to all of the city’s outstanding solid waste and recycling employees for their dedication to keeping Clearwater bright and beautiful. We appreciate you — today and everyday!