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City blames workforce shortage for delay in trash pickup

Since January, the city has received 26,043 missed yard waste or missed household garbage complaints.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — When the trash is on the curb, the person who put it there wants it gone, that is consistent in all neighborhoods.

In the Isle of Palms community, residents say the trash pickup has been very inconsistent.

"You never know if they are coming or when they are coming," said Jerry Igo.

Igo is HOA president. He said for nearly four weeks the trash pickup contractor has been a no show, so they began calling city hall.

"Oh yes, everybody has," Igo said.

Since January, the city has received 26,043 missed yard waste or missed household garbage complaints.

Isle of Palms is in Councilman Rory Diamond's district. A few days ago the community started calling his office directly.

"We had to get on the phone and talk to the hauler to get more trucks out here to get it done," said Diamond.

Diamond tells On Your Side the problem is related to a shortage in the workforce. 

"It has happened all across northeast Florida. It is not this particular hauler's fault. They have been very responsive," said Diamond. "The problem is they can't get truck drivers to drive the trucks."

The trash is now being hauled from the Isle of Palms neighborhood. Jerry Igo is pleased with the outcome but he is looking ahead with some skepticism. 

"Our normal day is Thursday, so they pick up today, when are they going to pick up again? Is it going to be on Thursday or next week or will it be another four weeks," Igo said. "That is my concern."

The statement from the city:

Since January 1, 2021, we have received 26,043 missed yard waste or missed household garbage requests. Each spring there is more yard waste and during covid, we experienced more residential pick up than ever before. This fills up the trucks faster and requires additional trips to the dump which can be a very far drive from many of our routes/neighborhoods. Plus, as with multiple, other industries across the country, solid waste companies are having difficulty finding and keeping employees. Despite these issues, less than ½ of 1% of customers have experienced delayed service. Regardless, we understand this can be frustrating for customers, and we are working on solutions. We are taking the complaints seriously and appreciate citizens’ patience as we work with the contractors to resolve the problems. Residents are encouraged to continue reporting missed collections online at myjax.custhelp.com or by calling 630-CITY (2489).