The City of Jacksonville is reviewing the citywide recycling contract with Area Disposal if an effort to determine what changes might need to be made now that markets for glass and certain plastics have evaporated.
Area Disposal approached the City Counsel last month, requesting a modification of the contract signed with the city of Jacksonville in 2018, to remove glass and plastics numbered 3 through 7, citing markets that have seen a drastic decrease in pricing to the point that it is no longer economically feasible to continue to recycle them.
Matt Coulter, vice president of Area Disposal, said last month that prices have fallen to the point that “you’re extremely lucky if you’re breaking even.”
Alderman Lori Large Oldenettel said following last nights counsel meeting that the program is still popular in the city, and that residents need to start changing their recycling habits now and not wait for any action on the contract.
“We have 2,003 individuals that are currently recycling in Jacksonville, our contract is up to 2,500, and that includes the bins that each of us get at our homes to use for recycling.
So with the change to eliminate glass and 3 through 7 plastics, there’s a change in the contract. So with a lot of it being diverted to the landfill, the hope here tonight was to just really put it out publicly to let folks know that they should no longer put glass into the single stream recycling, and then also try to not put 3 through 7 plastics in as well.”
Oldenettel said that 80% of the total plastics that are recycled consist of plastic numbered 1 and 2, and that the city hopes for the program to continue. Oldenettel said that City Attorney Dan Beard will review the current contract to see what changes could or should be made.
It’s really up to the counsel to figure out what we can do to the contract. I think Dan (Beard) needs to look at it a little more closely, and maybe have a little more in depth conversation with Area to see what direction we want to go to.
I don’t think anyone on the counsel would like to see recycling go away, and with the number of people that came this evening, I would concur that there are a lot of people in the community that also value recycling and thinks that it should stay here.”
Currently the city pays $6,885 a month to provide the free recycling service to residents. If modification of the contract does happen, odds are it would likely not have a change to the current pricing the city pays for the service, however further review and discussion will need to take place before any real decisions can be made.
In the meantime, the city is requesting residents to start placing glass and the higher numbered plastics into their garbage bins, to help speed up the sorting process at the disposal center, as these items are already being diverted to the landfill by Area Disposal.