Recycling rate hits record high
The city's recycling rate rose to 22.5 percent for the last measured week, more than three times the rate before Key West changed its pickup system last year, according to city staff.
Previously, residents recycled at a rate of about 7 percent, a consulting firm reported.
The rate means that of all materials put out to the curb the week ending Jan. 31, residents put 22.5 percent in recycling containers.
Last year, the city spent $631,000 for 13,000 blue, 65-gallon carts for residents, aimed at encouraging more recycling.
The new recycling numbers were part of a report attached to the agenda of Thursday's meeting of the appointed Sustainability Advisory Board.
Due to a manufacturing delay, new recycling and trash stations for Duval Street will arrive in mid-March, the same report said.
Trash contract draws interest
Seven companies from mainland Florida have showed interest in bidding on the city's multimillion-dollar, seven-year trash pickup contract held for 15 years by Waste Management.
Bids will be opened in the city clerk's office at Habana Plaza at 3 p.m. Feb. 26.
Representatives from each of the firms, including Waste Management, showed up at a mandatory prebid meeting Jan. 29, city staff said.
Waste Management's exclusive lock on the citywide garbage and recycling pickup expires Dec. 31, but the company has a separate contract on trash hauling for Key West that lasts through March 31, 2018.
Companies showing interest were Progressive Waste, Waste Pro, Dorado Services, Sun Recycling, Advanced Disposal and World Waste Recycling.
Funds to fight hunger
Monroe County has received $7,551 in federal funds to support existing efforts to address hunger and homelessness in the Florida Keys. Any nonprofit currently providing emergency food assistance in the Florida Keys is encouraged to apply for funding.
Applications from eligible agencies must be submitted by 5 p.m. Feb. 25.
Past recipients have included Samuel's House, Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, St. Mary's Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, United Methodist Church, Keys Area Inter-Denominational Resources (KAIR) and Independence Cay. Previously, the federal grant was more than $10,000.
A representative of the local group distributing the grant, Trixie Phelan said, "We were sorry to see the Monroe County allocation again be reduced but we know that there are good feeding programs out there and we want to help as many as we can."
For information, call 305-293-6350.