INVESTIGATES: Over $142K spent on overtime to collect recycling

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Like many locals, Adam Schwart finds the recycle drop-off sites, like the one at Castaway Island Preserve, unsightly.

“Look at how piled up it is, every time you come here, all these are full,” Schwartz said. “You can see all this broken glass, I just hate it, I just hate looking at it.”

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The 14 drop-off sites are due to the city of Jacksonville pausing curbside recycling — a service residents are paying for.

Action News Jax checked back with the city for updates on when the service would resume. The city shared the following statement:

“While we have made substantial progress since pausing curbside recycling, our contract haulers are still having difficulty finding licensed workers, and they are still understaffed. This is the case with many industries across the country. We understand this is frustrating for our citizens and appreciate their patience during this challenging time. It’s our goal to resume curbside recycling as soon as possible.”

Last May, Action News Jax told you about the city’s efforts to collect trash, yard waste, and recycling.

The city offered overtime hours to workers in other departments like JFRD.

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Since the overtime announcement in late May through December 30th, records show between JFRD, Public Works, and Parks, the city has paid more than $142,000 dollars in overtime hours.

The city told Action News Jax the money comes out of the budget of the department whose staff did the work.

Schwartz thinks that was a good move.

“I think that’s awesome; at least they’re getting paid to do it,” he said.

But like so many of those paying for it, he wants curbside recycling to return.