Jacksonville is trying to figure out how to bolster the program that keeps trash out of the landfill by giving it a second life. Duval County ranks 17 out of 67 counties in Florida for its recycling efforts, but when it comes to the curbside recycling that residents are most familiar with, what was once a money-maker for the city in sorting and selling material now ends up costing Jacksonville.
City Council members say one way to tackle that would be to better educate residents about the do’s and don’ts of recycling. Almost 20 percent of what goes ‘into curbside recycling bins ends up getting tossed after the material is picked up and sorted. “People want to recycle,” City Council member Ron Salem said. “They believe in it, but I don’t think the public is educated on the specifics of what they should and shouldn’t be doing.”
Salem, who is chairman of the council Transportation, Energy and Utilities Committee, filed legislation (2020-700) that would require a report due by March 1 annually summarizing activities and costs of the recycling program. “I don’t know that we’ve taken a hard look at our recycling program,” Salem said. “There is so much that can be done with it.”