Fletcher High students protest, demand city brings back recycling

Mayor says no word on when city recycling could resume

A push at City Hall to bring back curbside recycling in Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A push at City Hall to bring back curbside recycling in Jacksonville.

A group of students from Fletcher High gathered outside the downtown building on Wednesday to urge the mayor to do just that and they are trying to gain the support of Duval County.

“I really want to put political pressure on the city of Jacksonville,” said Fletcher High School student Grant Tucker. “That is what is really going to get this movement going. We’ve done our work in the community and now is the time to take that tangible impact with some credibility behind it because if we don’t push for recycling to be reinstated nothing is really going to happen.”

It’s the same group of students, known as Co2nsequences Incorporated, who took charge of protecting the environment in October by setting up a temporary recycling drop-off site at Huffman Boulevard Park.

News4JAX checked out the recycling drop-off site in Arlington at Blue Cypress Reginal Park on Wednesday. It was busy but there was still plenty of room to drop off the waste. There were also crews on-hand cleaning the site which had been a complaint in the past.

It’s been about 2 ½ months since curbside recycling was halted in Jacksonville, and there is still no word from the mayor or his staff when it will return. That is upsetting to some Like Trey Redd who has been using the recycling drop-off sites.

“This is an inconvenience,” Redd said. “I have to come out of my way to drop off recycles when I pay the city to pick up my recycling.”

The mayor’s office says the problem is still with hiring help. News4JAX learned Wednesday the city has enough certified drivers, but the problem is with two of the three outside contractors that also pick up the waste. They can’t get enough truck drivers with CDL licenses, according to the city.

Will Gutridge said he will keep coming to the recycling drop-off sites until they get the issue resolved.

“I understand that these are hard times that we are going through,” Gutridge said.

He said this is better than it had been when his garbage and yard waste was not being picked up for weeks at a time. Now they are getting picked up on time, Gutridge said.

The students also started an online petition asking the city to bring back curbside recycling. So far 500 people have signed it.

About the Author:

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