Jacksonville Curbside Recycling On Hiatus Starting Oct. 4

No timeline set for return to recycling program

Due to staffing shortages with the city’s private refuge haulers, curbside recycling is going to be temporarily suspended beginning October 4th. Mayor Lenny Curry said the city is being forced to do so due to the nationwide labor shortage caused by the COVID pandemic.

It’s hoped the suspension will allow crews to catch up on garbage and yard waste that has been piling up on curbs across the city. Yard waste and garbage are being targeted for pick up because they are a higher risk to health and safety. 

Curry said his office and those of city council members have been inundated with emails and phone calls from people unhappy that yard waste and recycling has been sitting on curb sides for weeks without being collected. 

“Our citizens are understandably upset,” he said. ”They are upset because this is a basic service that is paid for by their taxes and it’s not outrageous to expect a service that you pay for.”

Jacksonville is setting up fourteen locations around the city where people can drop off their recycling if they wish to do so.

Map of Recycling Drop Off Locations

They will operate Monday through Saturday from sunrise to sunset.

The locations include; Riverside Park, Earl Johnson Memorial Park, A. Philip Randolph Park, and the Mary Lena Gibbs Community Center.

The Mayor’s office introduced an ordinance to the City Council to establish a yard waste transfer station to help reduce run times and speed up yard waste collections  There will not be any new yard waste dropoff sites. The legislation includes a fee reduction for those who wish to drop off 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 Saturday.

Curry said the circumstances were beyond anyone’s control as the national labor shortage has hit waste haulers hard.

Chief of the Solid Waste Division Will Williams said the local trash haulers have been working to hire new qualified drivers offering up to $25 per hour.

“We are not neglecting anything. We are 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 curb,” Williams said.

Residents can use their yellow recycling bins for regular trash if they wish but the contents will all be going to the landfill.

The regulations regarding what can and can’t be recycled will continue at the drop off sites including not using loose plastic bags to carry items to the site. Plastic like trash bags cannot be processed with other recyclables 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 timeline for when curbside recycling will return.

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