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Monday, November 28, 2022

City of Ocala looks to combat citywide littering

The City of Ocala is turning to a local non-profit organization for additional help with combating the city’s abundance of roadside litter.

During the Ocala City Council regular meeting on Tuesday, council members approved an amendment to an existing agreement between the city and Wear Gloves, Inc. to provide litter control services.

A one-year agreement was previously approved by council members on July 6, 2021 for an expenditure of $114,400. Under the original contract, Wear Gloves provided one supervisor and a crew of litter collectors who worked a cumulative 200 hours each week.

The amendment has an additional contract expenditure of $28,600 and will allow for an additional crew to help with the city’s litter control needs. These crew members will replace a Department of Corrections inmate squad. Due to correctional officer staffing shortages, inmate squads have been unable to consistently provide litter control throughout most of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the original contract, the weekly compensation for Wear Gloves was $2,200 per week. With the amendment, compensation is increasing to $3,300 per week, and crews will collect litter for 305 cumulative working hours each week for the remainder of the contract.

During Tuesday’s meeting, mayor Kent Guinn said, “You drive around the city and it’s just mind-boggling to look at the sides of streets and see trash just thrown out everywhere.” According to the city, 112 tons of litter were collected on the side of the roads within the city limits last year.

Wear Gloves will continue to provide litter control services throughout the city’s parks, city-owned properties in the midtown area, and road rights-of-way.

The Ocala City Council now meets at 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue).