Theft of recycling bins may hinder future of program

NewsCenter 23

POSTED: Monday, June 2, 2014 - 5:29pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 9:44am

The curbside recycling program is coming to the end of its six month pilot program this month.

It has been deemed successful, however, theft of the bins is becoming an increasing issue.

Rose Timmer, Healthy Communities Brownsville, "We have about 155 that have been taken, we don't know who's taking them or why they are taking them, we sure would like to know."

What started out as 750 bins has now dropped by over 150. The curbside recycling program began in January and was headed by Rose Timmer.

She's hoping that people will be observant if they see anyone taking the bins, but this should not affect the future of the program.

Timmer, "Bins stolen, any kinds of problems like that, we are going to go forward with bringing curbside recycling to Brownsville."

The city originally purchased 1200 bins, costing almost $14,000. The money for these bins came from the plastic bag purchases at grocery stores. When you pay a dollar for plastic bags, $0.95 goes to purchasing these bins.

Even though the recent thefts are disappointing, she is still excited with its success thus far.

"We have managed to keep a lot of recyclable materials out of the landfill and that's our priority."

With 32 to 40 percent participation rate in the selected neighborhoods, it makes the transition to a city wide program more promising if it were to continue in July. However, they do need to report any missing bins.

"I found out, after this story that there were people who had had their bins taken but had not bothered to call the police. We want them to do that, we want to get a very accurate account of what's happening."

Timmer says we need to take action now because she estimates that we only have 25 to 35 years left before the landfill will be full.

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