City says staffing troubles are causing trash pickup problems in Jacksonville

Councilman says he would consider credit on homeowners’ garbage fees

In some areas of Jacksonville, it's been over a month and half since yard waste was collected, and recycling is being delayed as well. Why one council member is taking on the task himself to get help.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Many area neighborhoods have experienced problems with trash pickup since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the city of Jacksonville, lack of help is the main culprit. In some Jacksonville neighborhoods, it’s been over a month and a half since yard waste was collected, and recycling is being delayed, as well.

Sabrina Sizemore, who lives on the Westside near Bent Creek Gold Course, said Monday that it has been seven weeks since yard waste in her neighborhood has been collected. She is concerned about that for a number of reasons.

“Health issues mostly because of the flies,” Sizemore said. “We pay our taxes. This is part of our services. I can understand if they don’t have the staff, but they could somehow hire a company if they don’t have the staff.”

That’s the problem, according to staff in the mayor’s office. They’re having troubling hiring and keeping solid waste workers.

At last check, there were 10 vacancies for solid waste trash haulers and eight for garbage truck drivers.

The city just increased the pay for those workers. Right now, solid waste workers make $34,300 a year, while the drivers make $39,500.

Private haulers are having the same issues, and, in some cases, it’s much worse.

City Councilman Matt Carlucci, who is also a candidate for mayor, tweeted over the weekend, asking those having problems with collections to contact him. News4Jax did and told him about the situation on the Westside. Carlucci is now in touch with public works to try and get some relief.

Currently, homeowners in Jacksonville pay a garbage fee. It’s about $152 a year in order to have trash picked up on time. Carlucci said it’s time to look at that again.

“I would consider some type of credit on people’s garbage fees in the next year to come,” Carlucci said. “They are paying for something they aren’t getting.”

About the Author:

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