Is there an ongoing refund for Jacksonville residents who pay for suspended recycling services? – Action News Jax

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Jacksonville resident Paul Lynn said he visits the Castaway Island Preserve recycling depot once a week.

“Personally, I’m happier doing that than bringing them in every two weeks because it’s just easier for me not to rack them up during that time,” Lynn said.

As long as he’s making the trip himself, he asked, why should he keep paying for recycling?

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“It looks like we should get the money back,” Lynn said.

Action News Jax first told you this in October when the city suspended recycling services.

Residents have had to go completely without recycling for a little over three months. Either they throw it on the sidewalk with garbage, or they do it themselves like Lynn.

However, on that monthly bill, residents still pay $ 12.65 for household garbage, yard waste, and recycling.

We asked the city if there were any plans or discussions to reimburse residents.

Officials said the city collects about $ 3.5 million per month for residential solid waste collection.

However, they said the corporate solid waste fund was already running a multi-million dollar deficit each year and paying those dollars back would negatively impact already stressed finances.

They said a refund may have to be taken elsewhere in the budget, including federal dollars in COVID-19 relief.

We also contacted the 14 members of the District City Council and asked them if there was a plan to discuss refunds.

Council member Al Ferrero said the mayor’s office should be made aware of a potential proposal at the start of Tuesday’s city council meeting. He also said a convening meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday to allow board members to hear more about the idea.

“I am certainly in favor of restarting our recycling for weekly collection. I was against refunding the money, with the understanding that recycling would start soon. Recycling collection stopped more than 6 months ago. I still believe that recycling should start immediately. If that doesn’t appear to be the case, then charging taxpayers without providing a service to them is something I cannot support. A refund would be in order if there is no solution soon, ”Ferraro said in a statement.

Lynn said any refund is worth it.

Council member Michael Boylan said he had received no indication that a resolution regarding a refund to citizens would be presented.

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We have asked the city to reimburse 1/3 of the bill as the garbage and garden waste collection is still ongoing. We did not hear back, nor did we hear back from the 12 other board members.

Read the city’s full answer to our questions below:

REVIEW OF REFUNDS

  • The COJ collects approximately $ 3.5 million per month for the collection of residential solid waste.
  • The corporate solid waste fund already has a deficit of several million dollars each year, requiring a loan from the general fund to this fund in the budget each year.
  • The average monthly amount per household for households served by contract carriers and COJ solid waste collections is $ 12 per month.
  • A rebate of $ 12 per month to citizens would therefore add an additional $ 3.5 million per month to the fund deficit for solid waste management companies.
  • Taking extra dollars from the fund would negatively impact the already stressed system and simply add another problem to fundraising efforts.
  • To avoid impacting the Corporate Solid Waste Fund, money should be taken from the General Fund, potentially emphasizing the city’s solvency, or additional budget priorities. approved by the city council and the mayor. effective October 1.
  • Another option for the source of reimbursements would be federal Covid relief dollars that are already budgeted elsewhere. As you know, at the previous Council meeting, you approved $ 4 million of this federal money for solutions, and it is the source for the regional collections of recycling collection bins, the place of transfer of garden waste and the additional work we are currently planning to speed up the collection is catching up in the weeks and months to come.


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