‘We want our recycling:’ Jacksonville locals call for return of curbside pickup as bins overflow

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville locals are fed up with the way the city is handling recycling -- especially after the holidays.

You’ll remember in the fall when Action News Jax told you the city put its curbside recycle services on hold due to short staffing, then created recycle drop-off sites across the city.

Just two days after Christmas, some of Jacksonville’s recycling drop-off sites are overflowing with plastic and cardboard waste.

People even resorted to dumping recyclables on the ground at the Girvin Landfill site because there was no space left in the bins Monday afternoon. The same thing happened over Christmas weekend at Castaway Island Preserve in East Arlington, which is also serving as a recycling drop-off site.

“To have this beautiful, preserved park that means so much to a lot of people used as a trash dump is really sad to me,” Warren Anderson said.

The Castaway Island Preserve holds a special place in Anderson’s heart. He’s a local attorney and president on the board of the Public Trust, a group set out to protect nature in Northeast Florida.

“There may be some legal restrictions on making these properties dumps. But certainly morally, ethically, they shouldn’t be doing it, so we’re hoping that the city will reconsider it,” Anderson said.

Michael McNamara has been bringing his recyclables to the site ever since he lost curbside pickup services.

“People want the recycling. I mean, they’re willing to make the effort to come here and actually do this when we’re paying to have it picked up,” McNamara said.

Action News Jax asked the city what’s being done to alleviate the issue. A spokesperson said crews had been emptying the recycling containers daily.

Action News Jax spotted trucks emptying bins at the Southside Estates Park and Castaway Island Preserve sites Monday afternoon. Still, locals like McNamara are asking the city to bring back curbside recycling services immediately.

“We want our recycling,” he said.

The city spokesperson Action News Jax spoke with Monday couldn’t share a timeline for when curbside pickup would resume, given that city offices were closed Monday. Action News Jax will reach back out to the city Tuesday for an answer.

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