‘Two Strike’ rule to be implemented in Dayton’s recycling system

DAYTON — Some big changes are coming to Dayton that will impact the way that people recycle.

The city will soon implement a new recycling rule that could result in customers who do not recycle the correct materials losing their services.

Figuring out what can and cannot be recycled can be a guessing game for some.

“We recycle about everything,” said Breanna Eutsler of Dayton.

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“I just try to look at the bottom of things. If it has a triangle then I put it in there, if it doesn’t then I don’t know.”

Dayton city officials say they have been finding trash in recycling bins.

“It’s every day. Every day we pick up. It’s a constant,” said Fred Stovall, Director of Public Works.

“Not putting the right thing in your recycling container makes it contaminated, trash,” he said.

When the recyclables are taken to the Rumpke facility and sorted, the more trash that is mixed in means a higher disposal fee for the city and ultimately the residents.

“If they have to spend more time sorting through the stuff, that’s more time and labor for them to do that so that drives up our cost,” Stovall said.

A new “two strike” rule will be implemented as the city works toward its goal to cut costs in November.

With the new rule, the first time you put the wrong materials in a recycling bin, workers will leave behind a sticker saying what can and cannot be recycled.

If it happens a second time a letter will be sent in the mail, and a third time will result in your recycle bin being taken. Residents could potentially lose the recycling service for a year.

“The number one priority for us is safety,” said Gayane Makaryan, corporate communications manager for Rumpke.

Plastics bags are the most common item recycled that should not be.

“They are a big nuisance for us because they can get caught in machines. So now we have to stop the process, stop operations, everything we are doing, we have to get an employee in there to cut the plastic bags out, so they can cause issues,” Makaryan said.

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Workers won’t be going through resident’s bin in order to check the materials.

“They can tell by the weight of the container when they pick it up if you have empty plastic containers inside or if you put food in there or you put some garden hoses or metal,” Stovall said.

Before the policy is implemented, Public Works mailed a newsletter to Dayton residents with information on what can and cannot be recycled so that they no longer have to guess.

Rumpke says this is a good reminder for everyone to check what can and cannot be recycled through their service provider.