CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – In a worst-case scenario estimate from the county, Clay County residents could be waiting until 2024 to get their curbside recycling back.
The county’s recycling hauler continues to deal with staffing issues. Many people have been without curbside recycling since last year.
There are 12 spots around Clay County where residents are able to drop off their recyclables. Beverly Aqui, a resident, said she stops by the recycling bin outside the Fleming Island Public Library almost daily.
“It’s OK because I live right down the street — and it would be more convenient at the curb,” she said. “I don’t mind coming here because I come here to get out of the house.”
Last August, COVID-19 and staffing issues at Waste Management forced the county to bring its curbside recycling pickup to a halt. Since then, county commissioners have held several meetings on the issue, coming to no resolution as Waste Management doesn’t have the drivers to make the stops curbside.
Waste Management updates the county monthly, and at the last update, they were down 11 drivers. Nothing will change until they’re filled because the county says: “With the new solid waste collection contract in 2024, commissioners will consider switching to an automated cart-based collection system, along with other options.”
So unless those driver positions are filled, many residents will have to keep filling these bins with recyclables for at least another year-and-a-half.
“It does surprise me because I’m paying money for services and not getting it,” resident Douglas Saulsbery told us.
The funding for recycling in Clay County is paid for through property taxes, and in a statement, the county said it’s issuing a credit.
“This recycling credit of $22.71 for recycling services from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, will be applied to the Collection Assessment shown on the upcoming 2022 Property Tax Bill,” it reads.
Notably, Waste Management is still offering a $5,000 signing bonus as part of their recruiting effort for Clay County.