From the Desk of Sarasota
City Manager Tom Barwin
April 5, 2019

This week, we launched the new residential single-stream recycling program in Sarasota.  That means all recyclables should be placed all together -- dry and loose -- in the new 65-gallon recycling cart.  To ensure only recyclables are in the cart, our recycling collection team with the Solid Waste Division is auditing the contents with a quick peek -- and many times leaving a friendly reminder of what can and cannot go in the cart.  Much more information on the rollout below.


  • Historic Preservation Board
    Tues., April 9 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • St. Armands BID
    Wed., April 10 - 8:30 a.m.
    City Hall Annex - SRQ Media Studio
  • Board of Rules and Appeals
    Wed., April 10 - 3 p.m.
    City Hall - Room 112
  • Planning Board
    Wed., April 10 - 6 p.m.
    City Hall - Commission Chambers
  • Community Workshop
    Thurs., April 11 - 5:30 p.m.
    City Hall -Room 112
This Week's Items to Know:

Lido Beach - Update    The protective sand and beautiful white beach has returned to Lido Key!  This week, contractors finished the dredging portion of the project, recycling approximately 205,000 cubic yards of sand accretions from the New Pass area to restore the beach from the Lido Pavilion south just over one mile to Ted Sperling Park.
With an average of 40 to 80 feet of added beach, the sand is providing a much-needed protective buffer for nearby infrastructure and wildlife.  Our City Engineer Alex Davis Shaw, who shepherded this renourishment project and many others over the years, says when this emergency project started, the condition of Lido Beach was the worst she had seen in 30 years.  

Before and After: Inspecting the beach with a FDEP representative in May 2018; Ten months later and completion of the emergency renourishment.

It's a relief knowing we will go into hurricane season with an added layer of protection from the pounding surf.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' long-term project remains on schedule to begin in the fall.  Restoration will occur every few years as needed, including in response to storms as necessary. 
For the next several days, you may see crews on the beach taking measurements and putting the finishing touches on the project, including tilling sand to prepare for turtle nesting season.  In the meantime, enjoy this freshly restored area and rest easier knowing Lido Beach is better positioned to ward off Mother Nature's fury.    
Recycling: Single-stream is here!  This past Monday, when the new single-stream recycling started, the Solid Waste Division reported seeing a significant number of recycling carts placed curbside.  That's Step 1 -- and we're very pleased!   
Step 2 is a bit more challenging:  Only placing recyclable materials in
A cart, with recyclables properly placed loose inside, being emptied into the collection truck. 
the cart, loose and dry.   
Paper, plastics, glass, cardboard and aluminum should all go into the cart.  Please do not put them in a plastic bag. While one may think this is helpful, the plastic bags cannot be recycled by our recycling contractor, Waste Pro.  If you use a plastic grocery bag to carry the items to the cart, just empty the contents into the cart, then recycle the plastic bag at a nearby Publix or Walmart (or continue to use that bag to carry your recycling materials before placing them loosely in your cart). 
We need to do our part and make sure only recyclables are deposited into the carts.  This is very important because non-recyclables contaminate the sorting process and cannot be accepted.
What items should not go into the cart?  Greasy pizza boxes (the grease contaminates the recycling process), plastic bags, Styrofoam, and trash.   
Prior to emptying a recycling cart, collection crews are briefly auditing
Carts containing non-recyclables will be tagged with this notice. 
it curbside.  If non-recyclables are seen in the cart, the lid is taped shut with a helpful reminder that the cart is contaminated with non-recyclables and the cart will be emptied when the contaminants are removed.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with recyclables and non-recyclables and Be Cart Smart.  A robust web-based search tool, which allows you to search any item and learn how to dispose of it, is also available on the Solid Waste webpage:  www.SarasotaFL.Gov/BeCartSmart    
You can also review the information packet provided when you received your new cart or simply check the items listed on the yellow lid of the recycling cart.
Recycling Dos and Don'ts are imprinted on the cart lid.   
Recycling Quiz - Test Your Knowledge!  Many communities experience an increase in contamination when they convert to single cart recycling.  That's because residents want to fill their new, large carts with items they wish they could recycle, but in reality some of those things should be repurposed or just tossed in the trash.   
How well do you know what can and cannot be recycled in our curbside carts? Do you think a garden hose can be recycled?  What about a pizza box?  Aluminum cans?  
Test your knowledge with this brief quiz: 
Recycling Quiz 
Recycling Quiz
To help keep your cart clean and make the recycling process as efficient as possible, please lightly rinse items before placing them loose and dry in your cart.  
Van Wezel - The Lion King   Congratulations to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Executive Director Mary Bensel and her entire team with March going out like a lion -- The Lion King!
The Lion King roared into Sarasota like no other production at the Van Wezel:  an unprecedented three
Mayor Liz Alpert presenting the Key to the City to cast members of The Lion King.   
week engagement with 23 amazing performances, resulting in record breaking attendance and box office sales. The engagement grossed over $3.5 million with more than 37,000 people enjoying the show.
And, the impact of The Lion King extended well into the Sarasota community, with an estimated economic benefit of more than $11.4 million to the region with restaurants, hotels and other businesses patronized by the production members and theatergoers  -- impressive indeed!
Bringing The Lion King to the Van Wezel was years in the making, and the profound success of this  family-friendly Broadway production highlights the hearty cultural arts appetite in Sarasota.
Congratulations to all involved with this historic event for the Van Wezel!   
Mayor's Water Conservation Challenge - Take the Pledge!    Mayor Liz Alpert and the City have joined the nationwide challenge to be the most "water wise."  You're invited to be part of the Wyland National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation and pledge to be wiser about your water usage and consume less. 
The challenge is going on through April 30, and residents can take the pledge anytime at   
Some simple ways to conserve water include:  fixing leaky toilets/faucets/garden hose connections, using low-flow devices, taking shorter showers, turning off the tap when you're not using it (for example: while brushing your teeth), avoiding small loads for the dishwasher/washing machine and planting Florida-friendly landscaping.
The Mayor's Challenge dovetails into the City's Ready for 100 initiative to significantly reduce reliance on non-renewable energy.  The majority of the City's energy usage goes toward wastewater pumping and treatment.  So, reducing water usage will inherently reduce our energy usage.
And if doing the right thing for Mother Earth isn't enough, the Wyland Foundation is offering prizes!  Participants in cities with the highest percentage of residents taking the challenge in their population category will have a chance to win $3,000 toward their utility bills, home water fixture retrofits and many other eco-friendly awards. 
Take a look at this short video from Mayor Alpert on why we should take the pledge and be more water wise in our coastal community:   
National Mayors' Challenge 
Mayor Alpert and the National Mayor's Challenge

Van Wezel:  Shows on Sale Now! 

To view the full Van Wezel season, visit 

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour
Tues., April 9 - 7:30 p.m. 
Catch RENT 20th Anniversary Tour April 9 & 10.
Wed., April 10 - 7:30 p.m. 
The Music of Cream 
Mon., April 15 - 8 p.m. 
The Second City:  It's Not You. It's Me.
Tues., April 16 - 8 p.m. 
Menopause the Musical
Wed., April 17 - 7:30 p.m. 
Boz Scaggs - Out of The Blues Tour 2018 
Thurs., April 18 - 8 p.m.
Alan Cumming - Legal Immigrant 
Sat., April 20 - 8 p.m.

Rosanne Cash and Band 
Thurs., April 25 - 8 p.m.

The Temptations and The Four Tops 
Fri., April 26 - 8 p.m.

Whoopi Goldberg 
Sat., April 27 - 8 p.m.
Escape to Margaritaville will be at the Van Wezel Dec. 2. 

Lee Greenwood and Crystal Gayle 
Sun., April 28 - 7 p.m.
The Illusionists 
Tues., April 30 - 7:30 p.m. 

Purple Reign
Sat., May 4 - 8 p.m. 
Escape to Margaritaville
Mon., Dec. 2 - 7:30 p.m. 
Beautiful:  The Carole King Musical 
Fri., Dec. 13 - Sun., Dec. 15 
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
Sat., Dec. 28 - 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. 
To purchase tickets over the phone call 941-953-3368 or stop by the Box Office at 777 N.Tamiami Trail.   
For a complete schedule of events, visit

Thanks for reading this week's edition.  If you'd like to receive Weekly Briefs directly to your inbox, click 'Join Our Mailing List ' below or send us an email at CityNews@SarasotaFL.Gov 

Tom Barwin
City Manager