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Stopping the separate pickup of household items to be recycled has not been a popular decision.

Online commentators have been blasting Mayor Lenny Curry for temporarily stopping the separate curbside pickup, requiring homeowners to drop off their own materials or have it picked up with the regular trash.

But some people obviously are confused. You can still put materials in your recycling bin and put it on the curb. But you will do so on the day regular waste is picked up, and it will go to a landfill, not a recycling center.

In Jacksonville, trash, yard materials and waste for recycling are picked up at curbside, usually on different days. The city’s Solid Waste Division provides the service in the core city and private operators in the rest.

But there have been cases recently where recycling and trash pickups were not done because the three private companies that provide the service have had manpower shortages.

Curry decided to focus on trash pickup and temporarily stop separate recycling pickups.

Curbside recycling collection will end Oct. 4. There is no cost for dropping off the materials at the 14 sites that will be open every day but Sunday from sunrise to sunset. Homeowners also can place the material at curbside with garbage and it will be taken to a landfill. Much material intended for recycling ends up in landfills anyway.

Like many current urban problems, this one probably originated in Washington, D.C.

Curry linked the local problem to national labor shortages.

Companies, including those that do recycling, cannot hire people because Congress is paying people not to work.

It is a very rational decision not to work when you can make more than you can working.

The federal government does not have the money for this largesse. They borrow it from other nations or just print money, causing either debt or inflation. Both fall upon future generations of Americans.

In addition, the Red Chinese virus is having an effect on employment.

Ironically, the city government is hoping to use $4 million in federal funds to pay for the problem created by the federal government’s money handouts.

But, some people ask, should the city even be in the garbage business?

John Arwood, owner of Arwood Waste & Demolition, says the city’s cost of picking up trash is exorbitant. He recommends the city hire private contractors to provide the service throughout the city and rebid the current contracts.

One of the costs of recycling is the price of sorting the materials so they can be sold. In some cities, citizens are required to sort their own waste for recycling. That is not the case in Jacksonville, which uses what is called single-steam recycling.

Contrary to what some believe, recycling does not save the planet or save money. The budgeted net cost of recycling to local taxpayers for the coming year is $1.3 million — the difference between anticipated revenues of $1.5 million and a cost of $2.8 million.

Recycling has been made a profitable business by capitalism. However, it has become less profitable since 2018, when China, which was a huge buyer, stopped accepting waste from outside its own borders.

Before then, a plastic bottle from your home may have gone to China, been recycled into polyester and become part of a teddy bear that wound up in your child’s toy box after a trip around the world.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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