JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Next week will mark four months since Jacksonville suspended curbside recycling.
As of Thursday, there was still no word if it will ever resume.
An online petition is calling for the city to bring it back. The petition on Change.org is sponsored by a group of Fletcher High School students and had more than 1,500 signatures as of Thursday.
It’s the same group of students who, in the past, have demonstrated in front of City Hall, trying to get the mayor to reinstate recycling.
That’s not likely to happen anytime soon. During a special Jacksonville City Council workshop earlier this month, we learned the city and private trash haulers are still having trouble hiring certified drivers to pick up the trash.
At that meeting, we heard the city could make changes to and possibly drop the $152 garbage fee Jacksonville homeowners pay each year. The city would then pay all garbage pickup costs out of its regular budget. On Thursday, the News4JAX I-TEAM asked the mayor if that is still being considered.
“Discussion is happening. I don’t know where we are going to end up at this point. I want recycling back as much as anybody,” Curry said. “It’s a day-to-day monitoring situation.”
City Councilman Matt Carlucci, who called that special workshop, said he is not so sure getting rid of the garbage fee is the answer. He said we need to come up with some solutions right now.
In the meantime, for some, hauling recycling to one of the 15 city recycling drop-off points is a hassle and they want things to change.
“It doesn’t work for so many people in our neighborhood who are older folks and do not have transportation. They cannot handle the weight of the materials they want to get rid of, plus they can’t get to the recycling site,” said Kay Gilmour.
While Jacksonville temporarily suspended curbside recycling with the goal of allowing contract and city haulers to catch up on garbage services, some said they don’t see how this is solving any of the trash problems.
Lew Michael said: “I don’t see where anything has improved. My yard waste is picked up maybe every two, three, maybe four weeks. They were doing that before we stopped this. I don’t see where they done anything other than put a burden on me except to haul the stuff away.”
They are hoping to get answers or a solution soon.
A town hall meeting to discuss solid waste services is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Monday on the Westside at the West Branch Library located at 1425 Chaffee Road.