SAINT PETER, Minn. (KEYC) - Tri-County Solid Waste, which serves Nicollet, Sibley and Le Sueur Counties, is cracking down on what is known as illegal dumping.
Security cameras will soon be installed at recycling sites in these counties, and those who are caught recycling wrong could be issued a fine, according to Al Christensen with Tri-County Solid Waste.
“We’re getting some folks dumping mattresses, box springs, furniture. Those items should not go here. It’s a household recycling center," Christensen said.
Video surveillance is expected to begin at the end of the month, since, according to Saint Peter City Administrator Todd Prafke, illegal dumping can come with consequences and a hefty price tag.
“When we have materials that go into those recycling containers and, in essence, contaminate all the recycling materials in that dumpster, that means that that dumpster has to be handled differently," Prafke said.
Christensen added that contamination fees can be incurred from the hauler.
“You know, sometimes I’ve found loads of sheetrock in our dumpsters, and that can result in a contamination fee of $200 to $300 to the county for the bill," he said.
But those who bring the wrong items could also face a fine of up to $500 if they are caught once video surveillance is put in place.
Counties are trying to educate residents before surveillance begins.
For example, you should always recycle paper, plastic bottles, food and beverage cans and glass bottles.
Plastics will also have an identification number on them.
Plastics numbered one, two and five are acceptable.
You should never recycle paper shreds, foam cups, loose plastic bags, furniture, carpet or food.
Other non-recyclable items include batteries, cell phones, computers or televisions.
A full list of what residents can and can’t recycle is available on Tri-County Solid Waste’s website.
Another issue that Tri-County Solid Waste wants to address is to make sure that people are fully breaking down their boxes before throwing them in the dumpster.
This way, it can make more room for others.
“We want to get people up to speed on these changes. We want to get them a chance to understand these changes, what they need to do," Christensen said.