Will Jacksonville’s New Recycling Plan Go Back to Basics with Grandparent-Approved Tips?

The city of Jacksonville is rolling out a new recycling initiative called “The Recycling Partnership’s Feet on the Street.”

This program aims to improve the quality of recycling in curbside recycling bins by providing residents personalized and real-time curbside recycling education and feedback. The goal is to ensure that only accepted items that are empty, clean, and dry are placed in the recycling bins.

The strange part about this new program is … the city plans to employ a team of community-based observers who will visit each resident’s cart and provide feedback on how to improve their recycling habits. Just imagine you and a garbage inspector standing on your curb and rummaging through your trash. This is going to be interesting.

I laughed when I read Lenny Curry’s plan only because it seems silly yet necessary. Had he hired a bunch of grandparents to do a video message showing how they recycled their trash in days gone by – it might be more effective. It might even have gone viral and put Jacksonville on the recycling map!

Our grandparents certainly have the expertise for recycling. They were raised to wash out their coke bottles (no cans for them) and deliver them to the neighborhood 7-11 to receive a few cents for the bottle. They also had milk delivered to their doorstep and when the milk bottles (no plastic jugs for them) were empty, they put them back outside for the milkman to pick up. Even their bread bags were used for leftovers instead of purchasing zip lock bags. Metal cans were turned into pots for plants or reused as storage for their cash money (their version of a safe). Plastic water bottles were nowhere to be found and if you wanted water, you took a cup from the cupboard (that’s cabinet in today’s terms) and filled it with tap water.

Now we have to get grant money from a “circular economy national NGO” to help us recycle. Don’t know what a circular economy national NGO is – here’s a graphic to explain how it works.

The vector infographic diagram of the circular economy concept has 3 dimensions. For example, manufacturing has to design and manufacture. The consumption used is minimized, collected, and sorted.

This initiative seems to be a good idea and while it all seems silly – we are here today because of silly decisions to use plastics instead of glass and…individual water bottles on a scale so grand that we can’t even comprehend the effects it will have on our landfills.

The program has been implemented in 70 cities and has been successful in some of them, with a decrease in non-recyclables and an increase in the overall capture of quality recyclables.

When the garbage inspector comes calling, please send us pictures and share with Eye. We want to follow this program and see how it’s going.

And… we do hope the City will hire grandparents for this job! They are very qualified for the position!

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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