The problem of garbage-filled recycling bins continues to foul up efforts to boost recycling levels in Connecticut’s capital city.
Public records show Hartford is recycling more material since Connecticut Public reported on a major drop-off in recycling loads earlier this year, but the city still burned about 75 percent of its curbside recyclables from May to the end of July 2021.
Michael Looney, director of public works for the city of Hartford, said the ongoing problem is that some people treat recycling bins like a second garbage can — mixing non-recyclable household trash with the glass, paper, and cardboard that, otherwise, would hold reuse value.
“We’re still battling the problem of contamination,” Looney said. “If they have no more room, [residents] may be trying to put some of this stuff in the recycling bin just so that they can dispose of it somehow.”
And when a few people dump illegally, that costs everyone in the city more.