New city-issued trash cans too big for residents?

Older residents struggle to move bins to curb

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - At 74 years old, Jean Innamorato has trouble taking a 95-gallon trash can to the curb.

"I can't do this. It's too heavy, and it's empty," she said. "Now you try wheeling it down the driveway. I'll be rolling down the driveway."

Innamorato said the new city-issued trash bin is too big for her to handle.

"I'm not going to endanger myself because of a garbage pail, and I could endanger myself," she said. "I could fall, I could hit my head, I could break a hip, I could break an ankle. I would be incapacitated. So I don't think that's right."

She's not alone. Mary David said she couldn't get the trash can to the street if she tried.

"The problem for me, I can't move that can from my house to the curb because I can't move anything with a walker," David said.

Pushing the blue bin is just part of the problem. If it's not set in the right spot, the city says it won't be picked up.

Workers never asked homeowners about their ability to get it there, even though the city knows the bin can be a burden.

"It can be tough for someone who has a smaller stature and older in age, yes," said Jeff Foster, chief of the city's Solid Waste Division. "But you think that 65 (gallons) is appropriate? That still may be larger than some people can handle."

The city says a smaller, 65-gallon replacement is available for those who call 904-630-CITY. Or for those who are disabled, the city can create a pickup plan that doesn't require those residents to move the bin.

Despite that promise, Innamorato said she never received help.

"I called the 630-CITY. Did I ever get a response? No," she said.

"They can call the Solid Waste Division directly at 904-255-6500," Foster said. "If they do not have a live person, then they can actually leave a message. We will pick it up."

Innamorato said that game of phone tag is a waste of time, and she said she's hopeful the city will find a better way.

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