Residents in the City of Jacksonville are still dealing with headaches after the change of trash service earlier this year.
Jacksonville City Clerk Skip Bradshaw updated the City Council Monday night that although calls to his office about the trash service have slowed somewhat, there are still many residents who have questions or complaints.
Bradshaw says he has worked to contact a vice president with GFL Environmental for a direct customer service line for the Jacksonville transfer station, just as previous companies have provided in the past.
He says now even if someone dials the old number for the transfer station office, it is routed to a call center somewhere else. Bradshaw says having a direct connection was a major topic during contract discussions with GFL representatives last year.
“That was something that [Ward 2 Alderwoman] Lori Oldenettel was kind of emphatic about. She wanted to be able to have customer service in Jacksonville, and right now we don’t have that and we need to get it.”
Many customers noticed the customer service issues while trying to contact the company about the missing recycle drop off or to ask when their old or unused residential trash carts would be picked up.
GFL removed the community recycling bin from the transfer station on Illinois Route 104 at the beginning of February. Bradshaw said over a week ago that it had been removed because a few people were misusing the bin and dropping off forbidden items such as tires, batteries, and paint.
On January 1st, the seven-year contract between the city and GFL went into effect. The contract aimed to cap residential trash service pricing after rates had more than doubled following GFL’s buyout of Area Disposal last year.
Included in the contract was GFL taking over the city recycling program. Since the recycling program’s inception, the City of Jacksonville paid for the program which was free for residents. Recycling service is now included in GFL residential trash service, saving the city approximately $30,000 annually.
Bradshaw says as for the trash and recycle bins that have yet to be picked up and hauled away, employees at the transfer station say they are short staffed but they will get to them.
“It’s just a matter of time before they get them. I know that it’s a pain having them there, but they are getting around to them as they get around to them, and there’s not anything else we can do. It is their responsibility and not the city’s.”
WLDS News attempted to make contact with GFL management to inquire about the bin removal last week. An email submitted directly to the company’s website for clarification, as their current phone number does not support media requests, remains unanswered by GFL.