Recycling program in jeopardy following illegal dumping

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Department of Environmental Management (ACDEM) said via Facebook that instances of illegal dumping are putting the county’s recycling program at risk.

“We cannot afford to invest resources into this facility. I mean, here it is Thursday and we’re just now getting this cleaned up from last weekend and we have another weekend in front of us. Who knows what’s in here, they are trying to sort through this. There could be broken glass or other materials that are not safe,” said Tom Fox, Director, Allen County Department of Environmental Management.

County recycling sites are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 A.M. through 4:30 P.M. ACDEM said that recyclables are only accepted during these times, when an attendant is working. Materials that are left outside of the permitted hours are deemed as contaminated and cannot be accepted by the drop-off site. ACDEM said that the materials are considered contaminated, because it is not safe for workers to search through items that are left after the scheduled operating hours. These items, even if they are normally recyclable, are taken to a landfill.

“For the last couple of months, we’ve been experiencing a lot of after hours dumping. So when the attendant reports to work on Tuesday morning, there are mounds of material. And most of it isn’t even recyclable. Dumping is illegal. It is punishable, there are fines,” said Fox.

The excessive dumping has prompted the ACDEM to bring in the Allen County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone who is caught illegally dumping at a county recycling site may face a $2,500 fine.

There are six community recycling drop-off sites in Allen County, at the following locations:

  • Byron Health Center parking lot – 12102 Lima Rd.
  • Southgate Plaza – 218 East Petit Avenue
  • Stellhorn Village, behind Planet Fitness – 4530 Maplecrest Road
  • Little River Wetlands Project – 5000 Smith Road
  • Leo-Cedarville – 14701 Schwartz Road
  • Monroeville – 11- 1/2 South Street (Special Hours, Monday/Saturday 8-4 PM, Tuesday/Wednesday 12-4 PM, Thursday/Friday 9-5 PM

The community recycling drop-off sites are available to use at no cost to Allen County Residents.

Accepted items include aluminum cans, cardboard, paper, and various plastics. ACDEM asks that residents empty, rinse, and dry recyclables before dropping them off.

For a full list of accepted items and detailed guidelines for the ACDEM community recycling drop-off sites, click here.

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