PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The city of Port St. Lucie is kicking recycling to the curb.
Beginning Monday, recycling services will be suspended until further notice.
City leaders said this will allow Waste Pro, the city's waste contractor, to focus solely on garbage pickup.
"Many people don't know when their garbage is going to get picked up and so we took action to avoid a public health crisis," said Carmen Capezzuto, neighborhood services director for the city.
For months, Waste Pro has been plagued with labor shortages, making it difficult to fulfill the demands of the city's contract.
Waste Pro is currently down about 10 drivers, according to Capezzuto.
He said city leaders are now directing Waste Pro to reassign recycling truck drivers to garbage pickup.
"That should then reduce the number of homes on each route," said Capezzuto. "It should restore pickups to consistent levels and people should be able to get their garbage picked up on their two service days."
Until the service is restored, residents can take their recyclables to the city's drop off site or the county landfill free of charge.
If residents continue to set recycling items to the curb, Capezzuto said, they will be treated and collected as normal garbage.
Capezzuto said he is directing Waste Pro to use this time period of operational savings to help increase employee retention with bonuses.
The city is expected to move on from Waste Pro this summer.
A new emergency contract was awarded to FCC Environmental Services in May. The company is slated to begin servicing the city on Sept. 5.