Jacksonville to suspend curbside recycling collection

set of recycling bins
Expect more cities to make this move.

On Monday, Jacksonville suspend its curbside recycling collection starting Oct. 4, as garbage and yard waste piles up in front of homes throughout Duval County.

This curtailed service will follow the lead of other jurisdictions in the area, including St. Augustine Beach and Clay County

“Our citizens are understandably upset,” Mayor Lenny Curry said of the decision to reduce a city service relied upon for decades.

The Mayor blamed the pandemic, “unprecedented times,” and “labor shortages” for the suspension.

“The circumstances that brought us to this place were beyond our control,” Curry said, noting this issue affects “communities throughout the country, both large and small.”

Fourteen recycling drop-off sites will be provided around the city for those Curry described as “passionate about recycling.” These will be open six days a week starting Oct. 4

“We look forward to resuming normal operations as soon as possible and appreciate the patience of our residents during this challenging time,” Curry contended, calling this a “temporary fix.”

Curry noted that crews, including reassigned workers from other parts of the city, had been working “seven days a week, busting their asses” to try to solve the problem.

City Council President Sam Newby spoke in support. He said that suspending curbside recycling collection will give haulers “an ability to focus” on the other types of solid waste.

“We own this and we’re going to solve this problem,” Newby promised.

Curry did say household recycling bins can be used on the normal trash collection day to throw out garbage.

However, there will be no refunded fees.

The city estimates that a refund for the unprovided services would amount to a dollar or two, and as one speaker said, the “checks wouldn’t be worth the paper they are written on.”

Curry also chided people for mixing non-recyclable items into the recycling bins. While that didn’t make the recycling collection pause an “easy decision,” it was a factor.

Curry also urged people not to dump garbage on the steps of City Hall out of “frustration,” noting that is, in fact, illegal.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


One comment

  • Tom Palmer

    September 29, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Contamination in recycling carts is a widespread problem and haven’t heard of any jurisdictions in Florida taking it seriously. Other states fine customers to get their attention.
    Garbage pickup is a mess in Polk and yet the solution is to charge us more.

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