Department of Solid Waste disposal fee to increase

The Pinellas County Department of Solid Waste’s disposal rate for municipal solid waste, commercial and yard waste will increase by an average of 6.8 percent beginning on Oct. 1, 2022. The increase is the first of a three-year rate increase plan approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2022. The approved disposal rate for municipal, commercial and yard waste will increase from $44.70 to $47.75 per ton.

In addition to the approved disposal rate increase, two other fees are proposed at an upcoming Board of County Commission (BCC) meeting. The surcharge for out-of-county municipal solid waste, commercial waste and yard waste is proposed to increase from $44.70 to $47.75 per ton, which is in addition to the per ton disposal fee of $47.75.

The second proposed fee is for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits. The Department of Solid Waste (DSW) is updating the PPE policy and will require closed-toed shoes in all areas of the Solid Waste Disposal Complex. At the Waste-to-Energy facility, landfill, and mulch/tire processing area, eye protection, safety helmet and high-visibility shirt or vest will also be required. Customers can use their own PPE, but a kit will be offered for sale at a $20 fee to assist customers who may not have the required equipment upon entry to the complex.  The proposed fees will be considered by the BCC during the second public hearing for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget on Sept. 22, 2022 beginning at 6 p.m.

The flat rate for passenger vehicles, unmodified pickup trucks and vans, special handling services fee, contractor surcharge, the special rate for Christmas trees and the tire fee remain unchanged. 

The additional revenue generated from the disposal rate increase will offset future lost revenue, as the current 30-year power purchase agreement with Duke Energy will expire Dec. 31, 2024. The revenues are necessary to fund operations and maintenance expenses for the Waste-to-Energy facility, landfill and several solid waste programs.

The Waste-to-Energy facility processes an average of 2,800 tons of solid waste per day while generating 75 megawatt hours of renewable electrical energy. In 2021, the facility reduced nearly 1.2 billion pounds of waste by 90 percent of its volume and generated enough electricity to power the equivalent of 45,000 single family homes per day while recovering and recycling the equivalent amount of metal in approximately 19,000 automobiles from the incineration process.

Visit the Solid Waste department webpage for more information about the department and the Waste-to-Energy facility.