Jacksonville woman's recycling bin eaten by garbage truck

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Garbage day has become a mystery of sorts for those living in Jacksonville’s Springfield neighborhood with several trash and recycling bins going missing in recent weeks.

But surveillance video recorded by one homeowner may hold the key to solving that mystery. It shows a garbage truck hoist a recycle bin and then continue along its route.

"It just goes in the back of the truck and they kept on going," said the homeowner, who spoke to News4Jax on the condition of anonymity.

The video clip was filmed as crews collected trash April 12 on Market Street near 5th Street. 

"We realized on trash day the trash truck actually had eaten one of our recycling bins," she said.

The homeowner said she contacted the city to ask for a replacement, but was told she needed to get the bin number and file a police report before she could receive a new one.

"It just seems a little odd that we have to report a trash bin stolen to JSO (the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office) when they know it went in the back of the truck," she said.

According to the city’s solid waste department, it’s not unusual for bins to get dumped during pickup. It can happen when a latch loosens as the bin is picked up and emptied into the truck.

To save yourself a headache, the city recommends writing down the bin number located on the front of the bin. That way, you’ll have the number handy in case your bin turns up missing.

The city also recommended dialing 630-CITY if your bin disappears. They said taking that step could help you avoid having to fork over $65 for a replacement bin.

Early Monday evening, a city spokeswoman sent News4Jax the following statement about the bins:

Recycling bins (carts) may occasionally get stuck on the truck tipper, subsequently falling into the truck compactor. As a safety precaution, crews are prohibited from climbing into the truck hoppers to retrieve the bins. This is an infrequent event.

"The City pays for the replacement carts affected by the compactors. To aid in an investigation, residents are required to file a report and/or submit surveillance video. Please note that several of the bins in this neighborhood were replaced by the City today. Citizens are encouraged to call 630-CITY to report and process issues related to missing bins."

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