In Lancaster, a city near Columbus OH, illegal dumping has become a problem. However, the illegal dumping isn’t just in random remote areas. It is occurring in the recycling trailers issued to the city.

Since the beginning of 2013, there have been 54 litter complaints. Everything from dead animals, live kittens, to other non-waste and non-recyclables have been found in the recycling bins. There have also been 7 illegal dumping arrests.

The Coshocton-Fairfield-Licking-Perry Solid Waste District has one litter control officer who has been in control of litter complaints and other such matters for the past 10 years. The recycling trailers are placed within each city for residents to throw away recyclables. Each township within the county of Fairfield has at least one recycling trailer.

For those who are caught trying to illegally dump waste into the recycling trailers, they face up to 6 months of jail time and a $500 fine. CAA, a recycling center had to spend around $5,600 just to rid of non-recyclables found in the trailers last quarter. Even though most people in the Lancaster- Fairfield vicinity recycle legally, those who don’t are the problem. It only takes a few people tossing away waste materials into the bin to make the matter an issue.

The recycling trailers are to be used for recyclable items only. These items consist of glass, aluminum cans, cardboard, and newspapers. When someone litters other waste materials into the trailers than the risk of contamination is there. The recyclables that are in the bins can’t be reused if they end up being contaminated. The recycling bins are to be used for the purpose of proper waste disposal and some of the residents in Lancaster and Fairfield are abusing their rights to the bins.