Tompkins County Warns Residents About Trash In Recycling Bins


ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management agency has begun to warn residents when their recycling bins contain trash items.

Bill Smith/flickr

Bill Smith/flickr

Beginning this month collectors will place an orange sticker on bins containing items that can’t be recycled. The sticker includes a reminder of what can and cannot be recycled by the county. 

“Common sources of contamination include plastic bags, Styrofoam, padded envelopes, coffee cups, and cigarette butts,” said Seth Dennis, Tompkins County Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist.

Tompkins County officials are calling this a warning phase. Bins that get orange stickers will still be emptied. But, starting in February, bins will be marked with a red rejected sticker and will not be emptied if they contain any unacceptable items.

Dennis said the change is necessary. When trash contaminates a recycling stream it can not be sold and the county has to pay for its disposal.