Cost of city's recycling program going up

For years, Jacksonville cashed in on the recycled trash collected from the city's homes, but the market for recycled metals, paper, plastics and other materials has dried up.

At budget meetings this week, City Council members learned that the demand for recycled trash is just not there any more.

The city is negotiating a new contract with Republic Services in which it will still get a percentage of the recycled goods that are sold, but that revenue won't come close to the cost of picking up and sorting the recycling. The Finance Committee was told that could run $2.6 million per year.

The city auditor suggested raising the garbage fee to cover some of the cost, but that was quickly turned down, at least for this year.

"I think it's important to continue the recycle program," Councilwoman Katrina Brown said. "We just need to look at the overall cost considering all the fees we incur in the city of Jacksonville."

News4Jax asked mayor's office and Public Works Department about the feasibility of the recycling program. The city provided the new Republic contract hat has yet to be signed, but should take effect with the new budget year in October.

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