Some confusion and frustration continues when it comes to the new trash and recycling service in Jacksonville.
The city’s contract with GFL Environmental went into effect on January 1st and nearly two weeks in, some residents are still having trouble figuring out where to find answers to their questions.
In October, the city agreed to the seven-year contract, and in December the agreement was altered after GFL reported they found roughly 1,000 fewer active addresses than the city stated in the contract.
The amendment raised the price per month to $18.95, which GFL will bill Jacksonville, residents, quarterly. Jacksonville City Clerk Skip Bradshaw says, despite the $1.66 per month increase, the contracted price still negates the fuel surcharges and environmental fees residents are currently paying above the elevated monthly price GFL charged after taking over service last year.
Questions as to when and where to put trash and recycle carts out, how and when customers will be billed, who has to have the GFL service, and are there still some concessions for the elderly or disabled still available are just some of the issues residents have faced in recent weeks.
Just this week a new issue arose as several residents in the area received letters from GFL’s corporate offices stating their pick-up dates had changed. Bradshaw says a local GFL representative told him that in fact, those pick-up dates had not changed however, some residents still missed their proper pick-up day because of the corporate office mailing.
Still, others have had issues with service after doing nothing. One resident who spoke to WLDS News said their trash was not picked up for the first two weeks of the new year, and when they called GFL, their name and address were nowhere to be found in their system. The homeowner said they have lived at that address with the same names on the billing for roughly 40 years.
Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard says he has been frustrated by the ongoing issues. “I think everybody’s been frustrated. It didn’t roll out perfectly and I don’t think that’s anything that the city did, it’s more of the company that didn’t roll it out right.
But we wanted that contract in place on January 1st. They wanted to wait until May or April. But we felt January one is when we need to go. So we kinda pushed them to get going earlier because we wanted those rates reduced earlier than later.”
Ezard says there will be benefits to the new agreement once all the wrinkles are ironed out, such as recycling moving to being picked up every other week instead of only twice a month as it was previously. He says he feels the city did the best job it could in trying to find a way to lower costs for residents after they skyrocketed when GFL took over.
City Clerk Bradshaw says going forward, residents should be mindful of the following items:
Trash and recycle carts should be placed at the curb no later than 6 am, or the night before.
Trash should only be in GFL containers and not on the ground or in another container.
GFL has delivered both the new trash and recycle carts which are both 95 gallons in size. Residents can request a smaller 64-gallon-sized version of each cart directly from GFL via jacksonville.rehrigvision1.com
Back door cart pick-up service is still available for residents who are unable to physically move their carts to the curb however, a higher fee is charged for the service. Anyone interested should contact GFL directly for questions or to sign up.
Residents who have opted out of the GFL service through the City Clerk’s Office are not responsible for the carts that were dropped off at their residence. Those carts will be picked up at a later date.
Subcontractors are currently picking up the old Area Waste and Trash Queen trash and recycle carts that GFL says will be recycled. GFL says both those carts and the GFL carts for those who opted out need to be placed where they can be seen from the road for pickup.
Invoices will begin to arrive in mailboxes soon. GFL is billing for service quarterly just as Area Waste did previously. Bradshaw stresses that recent rumors of the trash service fees being included in the city’s water and sewer bill are not true.
GFL has taken over the recycling pick-up service from the city which is now included in the GFL per month price. Jacksonville residents who previously did not participate in the recycling program can opt-in via the listed website.
GFL also does not want recycle items to be bagged up and says residents should put recycle items directly into the GFL container after being cleaned of any food or other residue.
Letters were sent in December to residents that contained a four-digit code number they will need for registering on the website to opt into recycling service, or for requesting the smaller-sized carts.
Bradshaw says anyone who does not have their letter and needs their code number, or who wishes to opt out of GFL trash service should contact his office at 217-479-4613.
To request a smaller cart, or subscribe to add recycle service to your account, go to jacksonville.rehrigvision1.com