The Jacksonville City Council approved an amendment to the new contract with GFL Environmental for trash service Monday night. The city entered into the contract with GFL in mid-October in an effort to ease price increases seen after the company acquired both Area Disposal and Trash Queen earlier this year.
The new amendment will raise the monthly price, albeit slightly after GFL found fewer resident addresses than they first thought were in the city.
Jacksonville City Clerk Skip Bradshaw says the terms of the contract were figured on an estimated 6,000 residences, based on water department billing, while GFL has found a little more than 5,000 to service.
“The adjustment on the price per month went from $17.29 to $18.95 which is a $1.66 increase due to the fact that we didn’t have as many residential customers as they thought we did. So we went from six thousand to five thousand residential customers and that obviously increases the price a little.”
Bradshaw says the contracted price still negates the fuel surcharges and environmental fees residents are currently paying above the elevated monthly price.
The new agreement has led to some confusion among residents as the new year approaches. Bradshaw says one service that many residents thought would not be continued is the option for back door pick up for those who are unable to get their trash cart to the curb.
“The back door service is still available. It will be at a higher cost because obviously, the stop will take longer, and that [cost] will be determined but we are looking at probably what they are paying now, minus the fuel charges and environmental fees. So it’s still a savings for those people.”
Jacksonville residents have already begun to receive letters from GFL ahead of the January rollout. In the letter, residents are told they will soon receive a green GFL 95-gallon trash cart, which is the equivalent size as the Area Disposal trash and recycling carts residents have now.
A website portal will be open beginning January 2nd where anyone who wishes to request a smaller 64-gallon cart may do so. Residents currently not signed up for the city’s recycling program can also request one on the site, however, according to the letter, it will only be available through January 20th.
Bradshaw says the new carts will start being dropped off soon and the old ones will be picked up after January. Bradshaw says some residents have questioned even receiving the letters since they did not have trash service prior to GFL coming to town.
He says contrary to what was presented to the Village of South Jacksonville recently, Jacksonville residents are not required to subscribe to GFL’s residential service. “That’s the way we understand it right now because we do not have an ordinance that requires you to have trash service. However, the only trash service for residential services in Jacksonville is GFL.”
Bradshaw says anyone who wishes to not opt for the GFL service can call his office to be placed on a list for notifying the company. In October, as a condition of the contract, the City Council amended the existing waste hauler ordinance lowering the amount of allowed residential hauler licenses from five to only one.
Last month, City Attorney Dan Beard told WLDS News that the current waste ordinance in the city of Jacksonville requires that trash cannot accumulate on a residential property, but does not specify or name any specific hauler that is required to be used for service.