INVESTIGATES: Trash troubles rack up $44,000 in overtime for City of Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Missed trash pickups have frustrated neighbors for months. Some told Action News Jax they’ve gone three weeks to four weeks without the trash being taken care of.

Now, Action News Jax has learned what it is costing taxpayers and why the city stated it’s been worth it.

The City of Jacksonville has spent $44,579.25 in city employee overtime hours to help pick up missed collections.

“Jacksonville has done and should do a better job; that’s all,” Arthur Peffer said.

Peffer said he’s seen yard waste sitting outside his house and the entire neighborhood of Indian Springs for over three weeks and said he’s complained to the city several times.

“Being recorded and being dealt with are two different things,” he said. “I mean, picking it up is dealing with it. So right now, I am an unhappy camper.”

In May, Action News Jax told you about the efforts from the city to collect the trash. It offered overtime hours to workers in other city divisions, such as the fire department.

So far, that’s amounted to 1,469.55 overtime hours.

JFRD workers accounted for most of that with 918.5 hours, which totaled $32,202.90.

Solid Waste Division of Public Works is next with 533 overtime hours, totaling $11,990.

Parks Department clocks in at 18 hours of OT for $385.63.

The city stated the money comes from the budget of the department where those staff members work. This means that $32,202.90 paid to JFRD workers comes out of JFRD’s budget.

For now, there’s no plan to reimburse those divisions.

“They talked to us, and they asked us. We can justify it by saying we were asked to do it,” JFRD Capt. Eric Proswimmer said about the budget.

A Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety committee meeting was held on Monday and showed there have been over 19,500 complaints for yard waste and over 8,000 complaints for garbage and recycling within the last six months.

The city told Action News Jax that right now, less than half a percent of customers are experiencing delays, and it is doing the best it can.

“You trust they’re doing the best they can, and tomorrow you trust they’ll do better. Who knows?” an unidentified neighbor said.

Three of the contractors, Waste Pro, Republic Services and Advanced Disposal Services, pick up trash, which includes garbage, yard waste, bulk and recycling. So far, they have been fined a total of over $322,000 since February. Action News Jax has reached out to those companies for comment but has yet to hear back.



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