Pinellas County Solid Waste Master Plan

Pinellas County Aerial

Pinellas County Solid Waste Master Plan

Solid Waste Master Plan Set to Eliminate Landfill Waste Over the Next 30 Years

Pinellas County's robust integrated solid waste management system manages more than 2.2 million tons of waste annually, recycling more than half. Led by a visionary team, Pinellas County brought us on board to develop a 30-year solid waste master plan with an ultimate goal of Zero Waste to Landfill.

We evaluated the county’s existing system with a clear vision to provide a dependable, accessible and sustainable integrated solid waste management system for the region. Key infrastructure analysis included recycling processing, waste transfer, waste-to-energy capabilities, organics management and preserving and expanding capacity of the county’s only landfill, as the county works towards its goal. The master plan also evaluated existing programs and policies to identify where enhancements would best support the county’s vision and goal. Alongside county staff, we led a process to understand the system, identify gaps and solicit intra- and inter-regional perspectives. A list of more than 70 options for improvement was created, and identified programmatic changes, modifications to existing infrastructure and new assets with the potential to move the county closer to its zero waste goal. Community input was welcomed with a series of public meetings where residents voiced insights on the existing system and shared recommended strategies for the future. 

The options were narrowed based on a rigorous review that considered social, environmental, financial, regulatory, operational and administrative impacts. The number of options was ultimately reduced to 28 strategies. The strategies were designed to improve recycling, diversion and solid waste operations, to enhance existing programs and add new ones, and to implement new facilities and technologies over the next 30 years. 

As the county implements the solid waste master plan over the coming decades, five key tactics serve as a guide post for decision making.

  1. Minimize generation
  2. Maximize recycling
  3. Maximize recovery
  4. Responsibly manage what’s left over
  5. Collaborate with partners 

Including diversion of waste through enhanced programs and new policies like organized collection and business recycling, the master plan is designed to increase efficiency and capacity of the county’s sole landfill and develop beneficial use of the ash residue from the waste-to-energy facility. If the results of the final strategies are fully realized, the county will be well-positioned to extend the capacity of the waste-to-energy facility — its keystone asset — throughout the 30-year planning period, and achieve its goal of Zero Waste to Landfill before the end of the planning period.  

Pinellas County Aerial
Pinellas County, Florida

United States