Residents report recycle abuse at the city's drop off site - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Residents report recycle abuse at the city's drop off site

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BENTON -- Some people in Benton reportedly cause a nuisance at the city's recycling drop-off. Instead of dropping off their recyclables, someone has been dumping trash, glass and other unwanted items there.

Pictures were taken by neighbors who live next door this a "dump site." The only problem is is the site is not a place for dumping trash.

 "You can see the mattress that's there now, so everyone once in awhile we'll see a lot of junk," says residence Stacy Minor. 

Instead, it's a place residents, like Minor can go, to recycle.

"I believe in recycling and I think that's what we can do to decrease the landfills and make things better for us so that's what they're there for, that's what they should be used for." 

Benton city leaders say it's a problem they have been battling for years, but never to this extent. Neighbors tell News 3, the trash there isn't the only problem.

Dogs pick it up and scatter the mess in nearby yards also inviting unwelcome rodents to this neighborhood.

"This is just another example or an instance where the minority ruins it for the majority," adds Benton Commissioner Ronnie Baumgarte. 

Commissioner Baumgarte says seeing the photo's at Monday night's council meeting angered him. Even with a clear sign right there, neighbors say unwanted items are still be dropped off, including glass.  

The recycling place is located on the north east side side of town on Grand Street, but was once at the fire department until they ran into the same problem.

"There's a need for it. There is no doubt there is a need for it, but we're just going to have to figure out what we can do with it," says Baumgarte. 

Neighbors have asked city leaders to either use more signage, move the recycling site or at least find a way to monitor it.    

"As long as we know where it's at it doesn't matter to me if I have to drive 15 minutes. I just want some place to put my recyclables," says Minor. 

Baumgarte says a possible solution suggested was moving the recycling drop off to a city owned, gated site near the new sewer plant.

Leaders say the cities recycling company usually pick up once a week, but for now will pick up twice a week to help cut down on the mess.

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