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St. Augustine Beach resumes curbside recycling; Jacksonville still waits

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Claire Heddles
/
WJCT News
Jacksonville’s recycling drop off site in Riverside Park was overflowing on the Monday after Christmas.

St. Augustine Beach will resume curbside recycling Monday, three months after suspending it because of labor shortages.

Starting in the new year, recycling will be picked up on the same day as trash in St. Augustine Beach. It has to be put out on the curb in a city-issued blue recycling bin, according to an announcement from city officials.

There are no updates yet about when Jacksonville will restart curbside recycling. The city suspended recycling pickups about three months ago after falling behind on trash and yard waste pickups.

The city says things are moving toward starting recycling back up again. There were about 700 missed waste pickups the first week of December, compared with more than 3,000 missed pickups at the peak in mid-September.

In the meantime, the amount of residents’ recycled waste has fallen by more than 90% during the curbside suspension.

Jacksonville City Councilman Michael Boylan said in an email Wednesday that waste contractors told him they are still facing staff shortages, particularly commercially licensed drivers.

Boylan said he understands that recycling will not resume until all three of the city's contractors have full crews.

"I’m afraid continued patience (yours and mine) is still necessary," he said in a message to constituents.

Claire joined WJCT as a reporter in August 2021. She was previously the local host of NPR's Morning Edition at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her time in East Tennessee, her coverage of the COVID pandemic earned a Public Media Journalists’ Association award for investigative reporting. You can reach Claire at (904) 250-0926 or on Twitter @ClaireHeddles.