Action News Jax pulls the numbers. What’s was the real cost of suspending city’s recycling service?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The return to recycling will be a big job for the city, but it will also take a load off its landfill. During the suspension of curbside pick-up, many people have been throwing away things that could have been recycled.

Action News Jax dug into the numbers and found out just how much more garbage made it into the landfill.

The bottom line: the landfill saw more trucks- more trash-more tonnage. For recycling supporter Karolyn Fox, it’s frustrating. “As a society, we are damaging the planet,” she says.

RELATED: ‘You’re responsible for putting in the right thing’: Jax curbside recycling returns Monday

The suspension of curbside recycling is less than ideal for people like her, but the city felt it was necessary to make sure piles of yard waste get picked up. So in the interim, Karolyn has been pushing the yellow-topped bins to the curb to be collected with the garbage and go to the landfill.

She’s not alone.

Action News Jax pulled the numbers- and in the six months curbside was suspended, the landfill received  28,347 more tons of garbage than the same time last year. There’s no way to know if all of that could have been recycled, but that increase equates to about 14 hundred garbage trucks’ worth of added waste in just six months.

The city hopes the return of curbside recycling will curb the trend. At a press conference Monday, the Director of Public Works, John Pappas told residents to “know when your day is, make sure you know the schedule, that is at your house and that you get the recycling out.”

But after six months out of practice, resuming services is unlikely to be a quick fix for landfill loads.

And thanks to continued missed pickups of yard waste and garbage, even committed recyclers like Karolyn say they are skeptical of curbside’s success.

“I’ll just continue to put my recycling in the garbage,” she told Action News Jax. When asked if it was because she worried it would inhibit the pickup of her garbage and yard waste, she said, “yeah, yes.”