About Us - Solid Waste

Department Overview

The Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management is comprised of a 266 personnel team providing environmentally safe, time responsive, and cost-effective collection, disposal, and recycling services for nearly 90,000 residential and commercial customers in the City of Tampa.


Our Mission

To enhance the quality of life within our community while providing industry-leading collection, disposal, and environmental services.

Our Vision

We will be recognized as a world-class organization in the provision of waste resource management and the public's choice for safe innovative services

Our Values

  • Safety
  • Teamwork
  • Achievement
  • Responsibility
  • Sustainability

Brief History – Evolution of Significant Events

  • 1927 The Sanitation Department was established to provide collection and disposal services for all residential and commercial customers within the City of Tampa. 
  • 1967 The Tampa incinerator was built. Until this point in time, refuse collection was largely a manual process, and disposal was primarily by means of landfilling.
  • 1979 The Tampa incinerator was closed, and the McKay Bay Refuse-to-Energy Facility was built; beginning operation in 1985. 
  • 1998 The McKay Bay Refuse-to-Energy Facility received a complete retrofit as required to meet environmental air compliance standards mandated by EPA.  
  • 2005 Solid Waste began the 5-year transition to fully-automated service. Solid Waste customers received one blue 95-gallon cart per household and the corresponding fully-automated collection vehicles were ordered.
  • 2008 The Department transitioned to single-stream residential recycling.
  • 2009 A new holiday collection schedule was implemented. Make-up collection days following single-day observed holidays were discontinued.
  • 2010 Marked the completion of the following long-term initiatives:
    • Completed transition to fully-automated service
    • Completion of the first major rerouting initiative since 1986
    • Launched the new “Service Day” schedule for residential customers
  • 2013 Implemented Citywide residential “Automated Carted Recycling” program.
  • 2013 Introduced Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) collection vehicles in to the Solid Waste fleet.
  • 2014  Installed GPS and RFID technology on solid waste trucks. 
  • 2015 Completed Automated Carted Recycling Program. Customers received one green 95-gall cart per household.
  • 2016 Began the transition to a more efficient, convenient utility management and billing system, Cayenta UMS.
  • 2020 City of Tampa officially takes over operations of the McKay Bay Waste-to-Energy Facility.
  • 2020 Backyard Composting Program launches providing residents an education workshop and free backyard composting bin.

Major Duties, Services, and Programs

The Department is charged with operating an integrated solid waste management system designed to reduce the volume of solid waste while meeting the needs for safe and efficient solid waste collection and disposal of refuse within the City of Tampa. The Department’s structure is organized into seven divisions: 
  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Recycling
  • Quality Control
  • Environmental Coordination
  • Audits and Contracts
  • Support Services

Collection Services

The Department of Solid Waste provides 100 percent of the residential garbage, yard waste, and household recycling collection services in the City’s service area. The Department provides 65 percent of the commercial collection services, and issues collection contracts to private hauling companies for the remaining 35 percent of the commercial collection. Special collection services are also provided citywide, to include neighborhood cleanups for 37 weeks of the year, refuse collection services for all City of Tampa’s major events, removal of dead animals, pick-up of appliances, roll-off and compactor service, and collection of illegally dumped waste. 

Disposal Services

One hundred percent of the waste collected within the City limits (excluding recyclables) is disposed of at the McKay Bay Waste Management Resource Facility. The McKay Bay Complex is comprised of the Waste-to-Energy Facility, the Transfer Station, and Scale House. All are owned and operated by the City of Tampa.