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Recycling drop-off sites will soon close in Jacksonville

Claire Heddles
Jacksonville’s recycling drop-off site in Riverside Park overflowed on the Monday after Christmas.

Jacksonville’s dozen-plus recycling drop-off sites will close in two weeks, just before the city resumes curbside recycling on April 4. 

As that deadline nears, Jacksonville’s Special Committee on Solid Waste is trying to solve the pickup problems that led the city to stop recycling in the first place — making Duval the only large county in Florida to suspend curbside recycling for an extended period of time.

Committee Chair Ron Salem says a waste transfer site is the best solution — in the short-run. 

"We all know trying to permit another landfill would be a very, very, very difficult task," he said. "So in my mind, this is probably the best case scenario to move solid waste throughout this community and get it to the landfill that we have as expeditiously as we can."

Jacksonville has just one place to drop off garbage now, and that's the Trail Ridge Landfill on the far Westside of the city. That means a driver who's halfway through his route in Sandalwood in east Jax has to make a 37-mile trek out to the landfill to drop off the haul before making the 45-minute drive back to resume pickup.

A way station in a more central location in the city would allow drivers to drop off their waste hauls there and return to their routes quicker, while dedicated haulers go to and from the landfill and the transfer site.

The city is considering a proposed site in Southeast Jacksonville’s Greenland neighborhood. The facility is in an industrial area and was formerly owned by city contractor Waste Management. 

The city could open the site as a waste transfer facility as soon as this fall, with council’s approval.

City Council President Sam Newby established the Special Committee on Solid Waste last month to "perform an in-depth and comprehensive examination" of missed waste pickups, which led to the suspension of recycling in October.

The goal is to make recommendations to the full City Council by June 30.

Raymon Troncoso of WJCT News contributed to this report.