INDIANAPOLIS – Some residents on the south side of Indianapolis say they’re fed up with people throwing junk all around three large bins that are meant to collect recyclable materials.
The recycle drop-off location near the corner of Madison and Epler Avenues is one of 16 recycling drop-off sites offered by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. Residents are welcome to drop off recyclable items any time of day. However, several residents who frequently use the Madison and Epler location say others seem to be abusing the service.
“You get frustrated when you see people that dump stuff that they know is not recyclable and two doesn’t fit,” said John Gorman. Gorman says it appears that workers on nearby job sites are frequently using the recycling site as a dumping ground.
“Particularly more building supplies and stuff,” he said. “You know, concrete, drywall, things like that. And they’re just illegally dumping it.”
“Furniture, toilets, drywall,” said Wayne Morgan. “Everything you can imagine that should go in a construction dumpster rather than recycle dumpster.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a couch and a love seat were left sitting between two of the bins on the site. “I’ve seen where stuff is stacked all the way around because the dumpsters were all full and I’ve seen like mattresses and stuff that shouldn’t be there,” said Gary Cornelius.
While Indianapolis residents are encouraged to make use of the recycling sites located around the city, DPW spokesperson Ben Easley said there could be times when bins are unable to hold all the items being dropped off.
“There is the opportunity that they will be full or that there will be so many people that are using the sites that they do tend to get overloaded,” Easley said. For the most part, the recycling bins around the city are emptied every day, Easley said.
“Even if they’re changed every day, it might be that there are more recyclables on site than the box can hold,” Easley said. In such cases, residents are encouraged to either come back another day, or find another drop-off location. In a cases where someone is intentionally dumping trash or non-recyclable materials at a site, that becomes a criminal matter.
Any materials left on the ground outside a recycle bin will not be recycled and is considered illegal dumping. A person caught illegally dumping materials can face fines up to $2,500, depending on the circumstances.
Easley said the city hopes to add more recycle drop-off locations in the future. That often depends on partnerships with private property owners who are willing to host a recycling drop-off site.