City Initiatives - Conservation
In efforts to conserve non-renewable resources, the city's Recycling Division of Solid Waste provides a full-service citywide recycling program. The program consists of residential curbside/curb-sort recycling collection for 26,800 single-family residences, multi-family recycling service for all complexes (comprising 26,000 units), a comprehensive commercial collection program serving 470 businesses, the operation of a multi-material drop-off center, the processing and marketing of recyclables for the purpose of returning the income to the recycling program, community service programs, special projects (such as Christmas tree recycling), and an extensive education and promotion program.
Effective April 1, 2009, the city launched its new Grease Recycling Program. This new program makes it easy for residents to properly dispose of household and cooking fats, oils, and greases that can cause serious, costly sewer problems by creating blockages in pipes.
Participation in the grease recycling program is free and easy. Here's how:
- Place leftover cooking greases, frying oils, meat drippings, and bacon fats in a non-recyclable container like a coffee can or glass jar.
- Bring the grease and oils to the city's recycling drop-off center at 1701 N. Hercules Ave.
- Pour the contents of your container into our large barrel on-site. This center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Grease recycling is available on a drop-off basis only. Due to limited resources, there currently is no curbside pick-up of oils for recycling. Learn more on the Solid Waste / Recycling Department.
Employees in all city departments are encouraged to conserve paper by using less and printing only when necessary. However, the Official Records & Legislative Services department has gone the extra mile and has gone paperless in archiving essential citywide records. The Laserfiche program, or Electronic Document Management System, saves paper by scanning records and archiving them electronically. This alleviates the need to store files in-house or with a private business records management company, which costs the city money and helps us to save trees. For more information, visit the Official Records & Legislative Services Department.
Several departments within the city also are saving paper by making available some of their publications and brochures on the city's website, instead of printing hard copies for distribution.
As summer heats up and people head out to the sandy shores, beach goers are reminded to be careful for wildlife that makes its habitat in and around the shoreline. Residents should take special care to protect sea turtle nests, avoid stepping on stingrays, and be on the lookout for beach-nesting birds.
Did you know that Turtle Nesting Season begins May 1st and continues through October 31st? Because newly hatched turtles find their way to the sea by following the natural light reflected from the water, city ordinances determine specific lighting requirements for beach parking lots, streets, and the promenades of Beach Walk. More than 100 Triada bollard lights are being used along Beach Walk. The lights face landward rather than seaward, and use 50-watt high-pressure sodium light bulbs. These bollards have covers that prevent light from shining toward the beach.
The city worked with the State of Florida/Beaches and Coastal Division and the Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet regulations that control the number of lights allowed near the beach, the type of lights, and the direction the lights face. These precautions reduce the amount of artificial light that reaches turtle nests and helps hatchlings reach the water safely.
To learn more about sea turtles and their nesting season, you can learn more from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium or by accessing their brochure, "Sea Turtles: Help Them Survive."; And if you are lucky enough to see a turtle nest on the beach, don't disturb it. If the nest is unmarked, notify the Clearwater Marine Aquarium at 727-441-1790, extension 224.
The Clearwater Marina Harbormaster's Office says stingrays are back in area waters. Swimmers are urged to do the "Stingray Shuffle" when entering the water. The stingray shuffle is a simple and effective way to avoid injury from a stingray. Shuffling your feet in the sand as you walk near surf areas will prevent you from stepping on one and possibly sustaining a painful wound. If a sting occurs, see a beach guard immediately for a hot pack treatment. For more information, call the Harbormaster's Office at (727) 462-6954.
Open sand areas on Clearwater Beach and Sand Key provide essential breeding habitat for five species of shorebirds: American oystercatchers, black skimmer, least tern, snowy plovers, and Wilson's plover. These shore birds lay eggs and raise chicks on open beaches. To protect beach-nesting birds:
- Keep your distance. Stay away from posted nesting areas.
- Keep dogs off the beach. Birds perceive dogs as predators and will react if scared.
- Do not feed wildlife. Seagulls, crows, and raccoons eat eggs and chicks. By feeding wildlife, you are attracting them to the beach.
Learn more about the eight species of birds and ways to help them.
For more information about beach-nesting birds, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Web site at myfwc.org or call (850) 488-4676.
Boaters in Tampa Bay and Clearwater Harbor pose dangerous risks to manatees. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program offers a free boater kit that shows you how to protect Tampa Bay while enjoying it.
For more information about Clearwater beach wildlife in general, please call the City of Clearwater's Environmental Division at (727) 562-4897.
The Public Utilities department regularly encourages residents to save water. By implementing a few simple strategies, you can help conserve one of our greatest resources:
- Fix drippy faucets. A one-per-second drip can waste as much as seven gallons of water in one day, so take time to fix leaky faucets.
- Take showers instead of baths. A typical five-minute shower uses approximately 28 gallons less water than a bath.
- Check outdoor sprinkler systems. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered – not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Comply with watering restrictions. Only water your lawn during the authorized day and times.
- Use a hose with a shutoff nozzle when hand-washing your car, so you aren't wasting water while washing your vehicle.
- Install low-flow toilets and showerheads. Clearwater Public Utilities gives away low-flow showerheads. Call (727) 562-4960 to obtain one.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Do this as often as you can, and use the smallest load function possible on your washing machine.
- When you clean your fish tank, use the water you've drained for your plants. It's rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, providing you with a free and effective fertilizer.
- Learn and implement the art of Xeriscape. This landscaping method uses drought-resistant plants to conserve water.
With just a few simple steps, you can help join in the effort to save water. For more information about water conservation or water-saving devices, call (727) 562-4960.