Some Jacksonville recycling bins filled following Christmas weekend

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Everyone wants to clean things out of the house after the gift openings on Christmas Day.

But News4JAX viewers have been sharing their post holiday frustrations at the city-sponsored recycling sites, which were put in place after the city paused recycling pickup so it could get caught up on delays in yard waste collection.

David Papaj said he couldn’t believe how one of the city’s recycling drop-off sites has transformed since he started bringing his recyclables there.

“I was absolutely shocked,” he said. “Now everyone’s dumping bigger items, car tires, television sets and chairs. This is just ridiculous.”

Apart from the photos shared by News4JAX viewers, we visited the site at Earl Johnson Park, where we found the bins nearing capacity.

At the Southside Estate recycling location, the bin appeared to be full, but there wasn’t any trash on the ground.

Riverside Park’s recycling bins were overflowing with boxes that people tossed out.

The worst of it appeared to be at Palmetto Park, where we found Papaj. Trash was spread far away from the recycling bins. Much of it was wrapping paper and boxes, most of which were not broken down, making the pile look even worse.

Image taken at Palmetto Park recycling site on Dec. 27, 2021.

“It was much easier when we had the can, and just put it outside, you know? And it takes 15 minutes to get over here,” said Duval resident Mary Merritt, driving to a drop-off point.

Bart Welling said the pause in the pickup hasn’t been too big of an inconvenience. He believes recycling is vital.

“I think recycling is a simple thing we can do to stop putting things that should be reused and made into new things -- stop putting them in landfills,” he said.

According to a spokesperson for Waste Management, the city still needs eight commercially licensed drivers to fill residential trash routes. That number of vacancies is much higher than normal, but they’re working hard to fill the gap, including offering a sign-on bonus.

News4JAX expects a response from the city after officials return from the holiday break.