Jacksonville City Council members say they will have to reevaluate solid waste fees for ratepayers

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Taxpayers remain frustrated with no clear timeline for resuming curbside recycling pickup in Jacksonville.

Now some are telling the News4JAX I-TEAM they are promising retaliatory action at the ballot box.

It’s been nearly four months since recycling collection was suspended so the city can catch up on yard waste. Since then, many Jacksonville residents have taken the initiative to load up their cars and take their recyclables to recycling bins, but those I-TEAM spoke to on Monday feel like it’s is something they should not do. have to do and want local leaders to fix the problem – or else.

Jacksonville resident Dee Higginbotham says she’s had enough.

“I don’t want to hear any bullshine about, ‘Well, we’re already working with a deficit,'” Higginbotham said. “Election day is approaching, and everyone’s job will end up being at stake, and it’s up to us to decide who stays and who goes.”

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Higginbotham is promising a refund at the polls in the next municipal election if the City of Jacksonville cannot restart the curbside recycling collection program soon.

Jacksonville resident Glenn Johnson was not only emptying his own recyclables on Monday, he was also doing it for a neighbor.

“Terribly disappointed in our local government for not providing us with such a basic service,” Johnson said.

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Jacksonville has temporarily suspended curbside recycling in an effort to allow contract and municipal haulers to catch up on garbage services. City leaders told News4JAX there is a shortage of drivers, many of whom have transferred to other companies offering them higher pay.

We’ve taken your concerns directly to city leaders, who say they’re working on a solution that, in the end, could cost more.

I-TEAM has learned that the Jacksonville City Council has not raised solid waste fees for ratepayers since 2010. It has created a revenue shortfall, and council members say they will have to reevaluate those fees. as a remedy.

In a statement, Matt Carlucci, a member of the city council, wrote: “Solid waste management services remain a major concern. This is a dual issue: (1) resolving labor market issues with our carriers and (2) resolving debt incurred due to solid waste fees only covering 70-80% of the cost of services. I would like to see an expedited rate review process.

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Ratepayers point to other cities that have weathered economic uncertainty and COVID-19 and managed to keep curbside recycling services active.

“Show how late we are?” It’s so simple. We’re behind other places, and we shouldn’t be,” Higginbotham said. ” It is a very pretty town. It’s a good place to live and everyone needs to get involved.

Carlucci hosts a series of public town halls inviting residents to provide constructive feedback. Carlucci wants the carrier rate review to be expedited and then reflected in Mayor Lenny Curry’s budget proposal to City Council in July. It’s unclear how, but it looks like taxpayers will ultimately be charged more money for curbside recycling in the future.

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