Glass ceiling? City might stop recycling glass when curbside service resumes in April

Changes to recycling, garbage fees among issues discussed in first special committee meeting Thursday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville is looking into stopping the recycling of glass as it works to bring back curbside recycling, and when the recycling service returns in April, you might also be graded on how well you do.

Those were some of the topics discussed during the first meeting Thursday of a special City Council committee looking into Jacksonville’s garbage issues.

The meeting dealt with changes the city could see with garbage fees, but the majority of the time was spent talking about whether glass will be recycled when services resume.

The city makes a profit on recycling cardboard and paper items, but something that is surprising to many people is there is just no market for recycled glass.

So it appears that one of the recommendations that could come later this year is to do away with glass recycling because there is just no money in it.

“It provides no value back to the taxpayer as a commodity. The market for the glass is that we are paying for it to be put out in a market with no revenue back, so the most immediate question in the recycling component is: Is it worth it to continue doing glass?” said Brian Hughes with the Mayor’s Office.

But that does not mean glass recycling is going away immediately.

“There is no reason to change it before April 4, but I would like to see us re-educate the public about what you should recycle and if that includes or does not include glass that would be part of the process,” City Councilman Ron Salem said.

Glass was just one of the issues discussed. Down the line there could be a recommendation concerning the $152 yearly garbage fee. The city could consider either increasing it or doing away with the separate fee and making it part of the regular budget, giving it the same priority as police and fire protection because it’s becoming a pressing concern with the city.

We could all be graded on how we recycle. The city received a grant that will allow people to come to your home on recycling days, look through what you are recycling to see if it’s acceptable or not and then leave a note letting you know how well you did. That won’t happen until some time after recycling resumes.

Plus we will see an emphasis on recycling education. For example, what plastic can be recycled and what can’t.

The committee will be meeting every two weeks to come up with recommendations, hopefully by June, for how to deal with the garbage crisis, which includes recycling, fees, manpower, etc.

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