Erica Tucker, director of the area solid waste district, stands next to a sign that dissuades people from illegally dumping items at a recycling site in Circleville. A piece of wood sitting against the dumpster is evidence of something that should not be placed in the receptacle but rather thrown away.

CIRCLEVILLE— The Ross Pickaway Highland Fayette (RPHF) Solid Waste District is asking residents to be mindful of the recycling bins and what goes in them and what does not after several incidents of dumping in recent weeks.

Erica Tucker, director, said it’s not unusual to find things such as carpet, old furniture and many other things that can’t be recycled near or in the bins at their locations around the county.

“There was a high chair this morning, cabinets and other things that shouldn’t have been there,” she said. “This is not a trash dump. This is for recycling.”

Tucker said she’s been more present at the various sites re-educating users about what can and can’t go in the bins.

“We’re always trying to point out the sticker on the front of the bins,” she said. “The signs aren’t working to not leaving things on the ground.”

Tucker said they are at the mercy of the site owners for allowing them to use the property and if further dumping continues those sites might change their mind.

“That’s why our sites get closed down because of these problems,” she said.

Tucker said the district is installing cameras at the sites with the worst instances of dumping.

“When we do have proof, we can and have turned to the police and sheriff’s office for help,” she said. “Just last week, we caught a guy that placed a piece of expanded metal into a bin. We caught him doing it, and he jumped back into his truck and took off before we could get to him, so we took a picture of his truck and license plate.”

Tucker said the mission of the district is to Recycle Right!, an education campaign from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, that Tucker is using in the RPHF Solid Waste District.

“It’s a simple message, but without the cooperation of the community to do just that, we aren’t being effective in the mission to reduce, reuse or recycle,” she said.

Acceptable items include plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, paper cartons, metal cans and paper products and cardboard.

Tucker said among the common prohibited items are plastic bags, hangers, hoses, furniture, food and general trash.

Tucker said they’re penalized if there are not enough recyclables in a dumpster or load.

“Basically, if Rumpke pulls one of the bins and more than half of it is full of trash, it gets turned to trash,” she said. “They’re not going to pull the recyclables out. They’ll look and see there’s 10 trash bags in there. They’re not going to open each one.”

Tucker said they have a list of the recycling locations on their website that is constantly updated should people find that their normal location is full.

“We hate to have people drive around if the bins are full but this stuff cannot be left on the ground,” she said.

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