Missed pickups still a concern for some Jacksonville residents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — While many are excited about the return to recycling, there are plenty who aren’t. They say it’s not because they don’t want or appreciate the service, but because they worry bringing it back will make their problems worse: more missed pickups.

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The city suspended the service to help alleviate the overwhelming number of missed pickups because of a labor shortage. It did help- there was a big decline, but it didn’t fix the problem. With recycling back online, many worry things will just get worse.

“It’s very frustrating,” says Argyle Forest homeowner Karolyn Fox. She’s made calling the city’s 630 line a part of her weekly routine. Standing next to a pile of unpicked-up yard waste she tells Investigator Emily Turner, “to me, the waste haulers are causing neighborhood blight.”

She says the pile of yard waste in front of her house has been sitting there for eight weeks and despite her complaints, no one has come to collect it. She’s one of more than 1500 missed pickup complaints in just the last week. Piles like hers piling up across town are the very reason recycling was suspended in the first place.

Karolyn worries things are about to get really bad again. “You’ve got waste sitting on your curb for weeks,” she says, “and now they are going to add back recycling? I’m worried at most well get household garbage picked up. At most.”

Action News Jax has been tracking the number of missed pickups from the very beginning. There was a steep decline in the first months curbside was suspended—a quick uptick after the new year- and now, with spring, missed pickups are back in the four digits.

The day recycling returns, curbs still aren’t fully cleared, and yet the head of the city’s Solid Waste is making promises that seem impossible to keep. “There will be no bumps in collection service today,” Division Chief Will Williams told crews on Monday, “we promise you that.”

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