I-TEAM: As recycling resumes, some say they’ve been waiting weeks for yard waste collection

City of Jacksonville says it now has staff it needs for garbage, yard waste & recycling collection

Curbside recycling in Jacksonville started again this week after a six month hiatus, with the city now saying it has the staff it needs to pick up garbage, yard waste and recycling.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Curbside recycling in Jacksonville started again this week after a six month hiatus, with the city now saying it has the staff it needs to pick up garbage, yard waste and recycling.

The News4JAX I-TEAM has discovered that some residents have been waiting weeks to have their yard waste removed.

Wednesday on Diamond Leaf Drive on the Westside, one house had more than two dozen bags of yard waste by the curb. The people who live there said it’s been out for weeks.

Discarded tree trimmings have been sitting at the edge of Mary Davis’ pristine Oak Hill property for at least a month, she said.

“Don’t look good, you know, sitting out there that long,” she said.

Around the corner, Stuart Santos said yard debris has been piling up for even longer.

“It’s been here since Jan. 30, and I think it’s time to get this stuff picked up,” Stantos said.

They’re not the only ones facing delays. The city of Jacksonville reports 1,003 people complained about missed yard waste collections last week.

In a statement, a city spokesperson said:

“That’s one-half of a percent of our customer base. While we strive to ensure timely pick up of all types of waste and recycling, this would not impact the return of curbside recycling pick up to our nearly 300,000 households.”

Monday, as recycling started again, Mayor Lenny Curry said the city is now fully staffed and can haul it all: yard waste, recycling and garbage.

But it’s not just city haulers that are responsible. Three private haulers are also contracted to remove waste.

The I-TEAM found Davis and Santos’ Westside homes are assigned to Advanced Disposal, which is now part of Waste Management.

A spokesperson with the company says they have six driver positions open and have increased wages by a third since January, while also offering signing bonuses and even free college for workers and their families.

That spokesperson says they’ve brought in additional drivers from outside Jacksonville to help with the return of recycling and they appreciate customers’ patience as they work to get service schedules back to normal.

The I-TEAM is working to confirm the company that’s assigned to Diamond Leaf Drive.

The spokesperson with Waste Management said they’re looking into why service has been delayed at Davis and Santos’ homes in Oak Hill.

We’ve requested comments from Meridian and Waste Pro to see how they’re doing on staffing.


About the Author:

I-TEAM and general assignment reporter