No timeline set for return to recycling program
Due to a staff shortage at the city’s private shelter carriers, curbside recycling will be temporarily suspended from October 4. Mayor Lenny Curry said the city was forced to do so due to the nationwide labor shortage caused by the COVID pandemic.
It is hoped that the suspension will allow teams to catch up with the garbage and yard waste that is piling up on city sidewalks. Garden waste and garbage are targeted for pickup as they pose a higher risk to health and safety.
Curry said his office and those of city council members were inundated with emails and phone calls from people unhappy that yard waste and recycling sat on the curb for weeks without being collected.
“Our citizens are naturally upset,” he said. “They are unhappy because this is a basic service that is paid for by their taxes and it is not outrageous to wait for a service that you pay for.”
Jacksonville is setting up fourteen locations around the city where people can drop off their recycling if they choose.
They will operate Monday through Saturday from sunrise to sunset.
The locations include; Riverside Park, Earl Johnson Memorial Park, A. Philip Randolph Park, and Mary Lena Gibbs Community Center.
The mayor’s office presented an ordinance to the city council to establish a garden waste transfer station to reduce journey times and speed up the collection of garden waste. There will be no new yard waste disposal sites. The legislation provides for reduced fees for those who wish to drop off their yard waste at the Trail Ridge facility. The cost will be one dollar for up to 500 pounds of yard waste and will be accepted Monday through Saturday from sunrise to sunset. Normally, residents can only drop off yard waste at Trail Ridge on Saturdays.
Curry said the circumstances were beyond anyone’s control as the nation’s labor shortage hit waste haulers hard.
The head of the solid waste division, Will Williams, said local waste haulers were in the process of hiring new qualified drivers offering up to $ 25 an hour.
“We don’t neglect anything. We’re going to make sure we do our job and we’re going to make sure we’re going to pick up the trash on the sidewalk, ”Williams said.
Residents can use their yellow recycling bins for regular waste if they wish, but the contents will all go to the landfill.
Regulations regarding what can and cannot be recycled will continue at drop-off sites, including not using bulk plastic bags to transport items to the site. Plastic like garbage bags cannot be treated with other recyclable materials because they get tangled in the equipment used to separate the materials. Paper bags are acceptable.
Most recyclable materials are marked with a recycling symbol.
There is no schedule for the return of curbside recycling.