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Mayor considers halting Jacksonville's recycling program as yard debris mount around Duval

As yard debris pile up around many Jacksonville neighborhoods, Mayor Lenny Curry said Wednesday he wants to suspend recycling to deal with it.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry attended a groundbreaking Wednesday for a new fire station on e-Town Parkway, but the questions he fielded from reporters were all about the serious problems with the city's refuse collection.

Many residents are frustrated over missed collections of recyclables and yard waste is piling up all over Duval County.

Curry said he's submitted a plan to city council to temporarily suspend recycling in order to prioritize yard waste. Residents would be asked to put recyclables in their household garbage.

The mayor said what Jacksonville is experiencing is occurring nationwide.

"This is a national issue. This is a metropolitan area issue," Curry said. "There are shortages of drivers and we're all going to have to work through it." The city has appropriated $4 million in federal funds to help with clean up, Curry said. 

The priorities for the city's contracted refuse haulers, Curry said, is (1.) Household garbage, (2.) Recycling, (3.) Yard waste.

Curry said eliminating recycling for a period of time would help address mounting yard debris around the county.

"We have to deal with the yard waste. There doesn't appear to be any daylight in the ability of the haulers to find the drivers and the manpower they need," Curry said.

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