JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of people continue to complain about trash and recycling pick up throughout Northeast Florida as a new company prepares to take over pickup services in some parts of Jacksonville.
Starting next month, Meridian Waste will be taking over pickups in the Republic Services territory -- with a big task ahead.
Karen Stevens said her recycling hasn’t been picked up for almost two months, and she, like thousands of others, has complained to the city about the delays.
“Almost everybody still has their recycling cans out. And it’s gotten to the point where most of them, the lids are partially open because they put as much as they can in there,” Stevens said.
The city says hiring and keeping employees has been a problem. The city gave News4Jax the number of recycling pickup complaints it has received in the last six months across the city — about 1,700 in April, then 3,400 in May, around 1,000 each in June and July, with a spike in August of more than 4,600 complaints. And halfway through the month of September, there are already more than 3,500 complaints about recycling pickup across Jacksonville.
Right now, Republic Services picks up the recycling bins in Northwest Jacksonville and across parts of the Northside and Arlington. But, by the end of the month, Meridian Waste will take over.
A Meridian spokesperson shared the following statement with News4Jax about the transition:
Thank you for reaching out to Meridian Waste in regards to the contract transition with the City of Jacksonville. Meridian Waste is gearing up and will be ready to service the City’s Area II franchise area as of Friday, October 1. The temporary rental trucks are all secured, the permanent collection vehicles ordered and are in the manufacturing phase, CDL drivers and helpers have been hired and are undergoing safety and route training, and for residential customers who will experience a service day change in their collection days (approximately 5% of those who we will be servicing), Meridian Waste has mailed notification postcards listing the new service days which should be hitting mailboxes this week.
Meridian Waste is excited [about] our partnership with the City and will work closely with the City’s solid waste staff to address any specific areas of concern and any amassed volumes that may have accumulated in the service area prior to Meridian Waste’s contract start. It’s all hands on deck as we prepare for this opportunity to service the citizens of Jacksonville, and our commitment to a clean and healthy community is resolute!
Stevens said she’s ready to give the new company a shot to see if they can “get the job done.”
News4Jax got this statement from Republic Services:
“Republic Services of Jacksonville is experiencing some temporary delays with yard and bulk waste collections in our service area within Duval County. We appreciate our customers’ understanding and patience during this time.
“Many industries are facing staffing challenges at this time, and the environmental services industry is no different. We are carefully monitoring the needs of our customers and communities with the supply and availability of our talent and adjusting our efforts to attract, engage and retain talent accordingly.
“We are always recruiting and hiring great people to join our team, and offer a competitive salary, generous benefits, paid vacation, safety bonuses, and numerous career advancement opportunities. For more information, please visit https://republicservices.jobs.”