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Jacksonville’s drop-off recycling sites overflow before official opening

City suspends recycling pickup to devote resources to trash

Recycling bins on Jacksonville's Northside, full just hours before the city suspends curbside recycling pick up. Residents say they are even more frustrated than before.
Recycling bins on Jacksonville's Northside, full just hours before the city suspends curbside recycling pick up. Residents say they are even more frustrated than before.

Recycling bins at 14 drop-off sites across Jacksonville were beyond full the curbside recycling services ended.

A temporary curbside recycling suspension started Monday. The city said it will let crews pick up garbage and yard waste, which has also been a problem across the city.

William Sheffield Park is one of 14 sites available to drop off recycling and people filled up the bins over the weekend. And much of what was left can’t be recycled or placed in plastic bags, which makes it trash.

“It’s kind of trashy,” said one resident.

All five drop-off sites News4Jax visited Sunday were full: Normandy Park, Heritage Park, Blue Cypress Park and the Gibbs Center.

Early Monday, News4Jax was at the Riverside Park site where truck were beginning to empty the dumpsters that were at capacity.

A woman dropped off her moving boxes Sunday afternoon. She said her pickup at home has been fine, but her neighbors have had problems.

“I think that’s crazy. Just been crazy,” said another resident.

For months, recycling, trash and yard waste pick-up has been delayed. The city said its suspension of curbside recycling Monday is due to unprecedented national labor shortages.

“They should be paying the trash pick up people a little bit better so they actually show up to work,” said Eric VanTassel as he dropped off his recycling early Monday. “But if this is what I got to do to recycle my stuff, then that’s what I got to do. It’s better than what’s currently happening at my house right now, where I’ve got a pile of stuff at the street.”

There’s a petition online demanding a reduction on homeowners’ tax bills.

It says, “While they (city) have not picked up recycling in the last two months, we citizens are still having to pay for this service….”

The petition goes on to say, “The current labor shortage is being blamed for not having enough drivers to staff the recycling trucks, however, every business is shorthanded in this economy and this should be no excuse.”

You have to do something. You can’t just let us all not have somewhere to take stuff. You can’t just completely deprive us of it,” said a resident.

In the last six months, the city received over 15,000 recycling pickup complaints. Residents want to know when these bins will be unloaded, and when the service will return.

There is no cost for the recycling drop-off service and the hours are Monday to Saturday from sunrise to sunset.

Remember items that cannot be recycled include:

  • Saran wrap, Styrofoam, packing peanuts
  • Plastic eating utensils, hangers, medicine bottles
  • Any material that is contaminated with food waste
  • Aerosol cans, shredded paper, batteries
  • Cables, wires, rubber

For additional information, check out some FAQs or call (904) 630-2489 (CITY).

Map of 14 sites where Jacksonville residents can drop off recycling.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.

A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.