Clay County to temporarily suspend curbside recycling

File photo (KPRC2)

Given three options on a short-term solution to help get garbage and yard waste in Clay County picked up on time, the Board of County Commissioners decided to suspend residential curbside collection of recyclables. This will allow the county to dedicate those resources to the collection of yard waste and garbage.

The solid waste industry is struggling with a labor shortage causing delays in the curbside collection of materials nationwide. Many local governments are considering temporary collection suspensions as a solution to getting caught up on other collection routes during the pandemic labor shortage.

The temporary suspension will begin Monday, Aug. 16, and include all unincorporated areas of Clay County and the city of Keystone Heights. The status of collection services will be evaluated monthly to determine the earliest date curbside recycling services can resume.

The municipalities of Green Cove Springs, Orange Park, and Penney Farms are under different collection programs and will not be affected by this suspension.

The county did not give the other two options the commissioners were presented.

“Staying the course is not working,” chairman of the Clay County Board of County Commissioners Mike Cella said. “We have to address the yard waste collection issue and we need to make sure that our residents have clear communication on what to expect moving forward and where they can drop off recyclable materials.”

There are already five established drop-off sites for recycling in the county and there will be five additional temporary sites opening on Monday. There will be no cost to drop of residential recyclables at any of these locations during the temporary suspension.

Temporary drop-off locations:

  • Fleming Island Library, 1895 Town Center Blvd., Fleming Island; open 24/7
  • Oakleaf Community Park, 3979 Plantation Oaks Blvd, Orange Park, open 24/7
  • Ronnie Van Zant Park, 2760 Sandridge Road, Green Cove Springs; open 24/7
  • Sunrise Park, 7933 Sunrise Blvd, Keystone Heights; open 24/7
  • Walter Odum Park, 450 Parkwood Drive, Orange Park; open 24/7

Established drop-off sites:

  • Clay Hill Environmental Convenience Center, 5869 CR 218, Middleburg; open Thursday thru Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Doctor’s Inlet Environmental Convenience Center, 288 Sleepy Hollow Road, Middleburg; open Thursday thru Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Keystone Heights Environmental Convenience Center, 5505 CR 214; open Thursday thru Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Long Bay Environmental Convenience Center, 1589 Long Bay Rd, Middleburg; open Thursday thru Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Rosemary Hill Solid Waste Management Facility, 3545 Rosemary Hill Rd, Green Cove Springs; open Monday thru Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Please note, this is a high-traffic location accepting commercial and residential waste for the entire county. There may be long lines and wait times. If dropping off recycling only, please consider another drop-off location closest to you.)

Cella said he wants the county to negotiate with its contractor, Waste Management, to rebate funds to our constituents for undelivered services and also be compensated above and beyond for the inconvenience of missed collections.

“I would also like to see Waste Management reimburse the County for lost revenue during the suspension of recycling,” Cella said.

After the commissioners conduct a financial impact review of costs, they will consider options for refunds or tax credits for residents.

For more information call the Clay County Environmental Services Department at 904-284-6374.