More than 3,100 customers in Dayton received an initial “oops” warning in the first year of the program, which seeks to keep trash out of the recycling stream, according to the city’s public works department. And during that period, more than 100 customers had their recycling service terminated for repeatedly having trash and nonrecyclable items in their recycling containers.
“We don’t look through your trash,” said Fred Stovall, Dayton’s director of public works. “But when it’s obvious that you put something in that blue recycle bin that we know is not recyclable, then you are getting tagged with an oops notification.” Under the oops program that launched a year ago, the city issues warnings to customers whose recycling bins are found to contain items that cannot be recycled.
The first time this happens, the customer is sent a warning letter in the mail. A second violation results in waste collection crews slapping a warning sticker on the recycling container and the customer receives an additional warning and educational materials in the mail. If there’s a third violation, the city removes the recycling container and suspends service for one year.