Recycling changes to begin for Jacksonville's core areas

New containers must be used starting week of Jan. 5

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Residents living in Jacksonville's core areas like San Marco, Riverside, Springfield and Northwest Jacksonville will soon see a big change in recycling pickup.

Recycling will become automated at the start of the year. It's already been in effect in other parts of the city, and now 53,000 people will be getting new larger containers.

Residents are being notified with post cards sent out Tuesday.

Recycling in Jacksonville has apparently been very successful, and now more of the city is doing away with the method of having people collect the container by hand. It's moving to larger bins that can be picked up by a truck without anyone stepping outside, and because the bins are larger, more items are being recycled.

"It saves landfill space. It saves landfill cost," said Jeff Foster, of the city's Solid Waste Division. "You don't put as much garbage out because you are putting more in recycling."

That means more money for Jacksonville. Last year, the city made over $1 million in revenue from recycled trash.

"Every time we try our automotive service, it has increased recycling, doubled the amount than we got before," Foster said. "The city gets the revenue of $41.07 a ton."

Residents joining the new method will get their recycle containers picked up every other week instead of once a week. The blue bins will be gone, and the new containers must be used starting the week of Jan. 5.

Most thinks it's OK, but some are questioning why.

"I think it's a good idea, but I also think the cans are way too big for the recycle," resident Ray Geisel said. "The cans are the size of the big cans, and I think it's just too big."

Trash pickup will remain the same, but could change to the automated system at this time next year. The only part of the city without automated recycling service will be on the Westside, and that is due to start in about six months.

"The biggest savings is in labor and gas," Foster said.

As for the employees, "They are still employed," Foster said. "We have plenty of work on yard waste and regular garbage, and they won't be lacking for work.

"Recycling is the way to go. We've got to meet the 2020 goals set for us. It's one part of a larger effort Duval County has undertaken. We need everybody's participation."

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.