The City of Jacksonville recycling breakdown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax Investigator Emily Turner has been digging deeper into the city’s recycling breakdown. She got the contracts for the three companies who are paid to pick up your trash. Turns out, at least one of them is paid in full, though they are only doing part of the job.

According to the contracts, each company gets paid per residence, per month. They all have different rates, but those rates are for the curbside pick-up of garbage, yard waste and recycling.

STORY: Developer for troubled Berkman II has his own troubled past, including prison time

Advanced Disposal/Waste Managements get $10.65 per address per month. Waste Pro’s rate is $14.66 and Meridian’s bid came in at the top $16.42 though the contract never actually states the final amount.

But as most Jacksonville residents know, curbside recycling hasn’t been picked up in the last three months. That’s a total of at least six missed pick-ups for every residence in the city. For Meridian specifically, and its zone of more than 78 thousand homes, that’s more than 400 thousand recycling pick-ups its didn’t do but DID get paid for.

Their contract allows the city to charge fines for missed pick-ups in the form of liquidated damages, similar to the other two contractors.

In addition, although Meridian’s contract has a clause that allows the city to fine liquidated damages for missed pick-ups, the city agreed not to enforce it for the first 180 days. In other words, it hasn’t and won’t cost the company anything to miss a pick-up until April 1.

STORY: Expired COVID tests? Not anymore. FDA extended the expiration date, here’s why

As for the other two companies, the city says Advanced Disposal/Waste Management has dropped its per residence rate to $9.88 and Waste Pro to $13.11. But it’s unclear if that’s an actual rate reduction or just how the city is netting out the fines those companies accrue.

This still leaves many residents wondering why they’re paying full price for a service they’re not getting. In fact, there’s a push to get the city to refund tax payers their money.

The city has refuted this option, though, saying it would only further damage the solid waste program, a program the city says already runs at a multi-million dollar deficit.