JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4JAX I-TEAM is working to get more answers to your concerns about trash troubles in Jacksonville.
On Thursday, the city said complaints are dropping in regard to garbage and yard waste pickup since curbside recycling was suspended three months ago. According to the city, the reason is, without having to focus on recycling, more crews are available to do the work.
But the I-TEAM is still seeing problems with yard waste pickup, particularly on the Westside of Jacksonville. We saw a pile of yard waste in front of Alexis Gilmore’s house on Wilson Boulevard on Friday. She told us it has been there a while.
“It’s just crazy, it’s just piling up and not being picked up,” Gilmore said. “It just needs to be picked up so we can fix our yard and stuff.”
Her neighbor, who was cleaning his yard, agreed and said he just ends up throwing the yard waste in with regular trash.
We also checked for yard waste problems off Collins Road, an area that News4JAX went to last week where yard waste was piling up for over eight weeks. It was still there Friday morning, so the I-TEAM notified the city again, and those who complained about it to us said that the city came out Friday afternoon and that it’s now gone.
The mayor’s staff said complaints about the lack of trash pickups have dropped, but they still need to know if there are problems and want you to call 904-630-CITY (2489) if there is a missed pickup.
The city reemphasized at a special meeting Thursday that curbside recycling pickup will remain suspended for some time and that drop-off locations will be the only option.
We also checked out more of those sites. We were told there might be a problem at the one at Normandy Park, but it checked out fine Friday. We still noticed a number of plastic garbage bags in the bins — which can’t be recycled and could cause problems with the entire bin if there are too many. At other sites, we saw that the bins were not full and it appeared most people are tossing the correct recyclable items.
Many have asked about a refund of the $152 garbage fee that Jacksonville homeowners pay since service has been cut back. During Thursday’s special meeting, the mayor’s office said a refund for recycling costs is not feasible, but there is talk of just doing away with the entire garbage fee down the line. News4JAX anchor Jennifer Waugh asked Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci about that on “The Morning Show” Friday.
“We could just do away with the fee and go completely through ad valorem taxes and you would not feel a pinch that much except that the more that comes out of the general fund to replace the fee is less that could go to libraries, public safety,” Carlucci said. “There’s only so much in there.”
But, for now, don’t look for a refund or for recycling to return anytime soon.
Carlucci and City Councilwomen Randy DeFoor and Brenda Priestly Jackson will host a town hall meeting on Monday, Jan. 31, at 6:45 p.m. at the West Branch Library located at 1425 Chaffee Road South to discuss solid waste services.