Kansas county considers surveillance cameras to deter drop-off contamination

Dive Brief:

  • In Miami County, KS, local officials are looking for a way to keep their recycling drop-off site open 24 hours per day while also deterring contamination and illegal dumping, as reported by The Miami County Republic.
  • Deffenbaugh Industries operates the county's transfer station and provides the adjacent recycling containers. Frequent dumping of waste and electronics often means the contaminated contents are sent to a landfill. 
  • One option would be to put a fence around the containers, but then the county would be responsible for any waste left outside of the gate. County commissioners may install surveillance cameras and also ask Deffenbaugh to put up more signage.

Dive Insight:

Closing off the site is seen as a last resort because other recycling containers in the area have already been removed, so this is one of the only access points for local residents. Faced with a similar situation, the Delaware Solid Waste Authority recently decided to reduce the number of drop-off sites they operate. The remaining sites are now fenced in and staffed with attendants during standard operating hours.

As access to curbside recycling programs increases around the country, drop-off sites have been playing a smaller role for standard recyclables in many communities. The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio has reported a 50% decline in use of its drop-off sites and cut back on containers as a result. Though the sites are still important in more rural areas and are the preferred choice over curbside for some residents.

Illegal dumping is an issue for many municipalities, some of which have also turned to cameras for help with enforcement. Though in this case a lack of education on sorting requirements may be a larger factor and new guidelines for residents could help solve the problem.

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Filed Under: Recycling Regulation Waste Diversion
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