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MUSCATINE — A wave of misuse of the City of Muscatine’s cardboard recycling area at the entrance of the Department of Public Works yard has prompted the city to discontinue the service.

Even though the three recycling bins have been removed and the area blocked off, the city hopes to be able to continue the service in the future. Communications manager Kevin Jenison said there had been many complaints about the bins, especially from people leaving items on the ground.

“It makes it hard to offer a service when you have people who are just not following the rules,” he said.

According to David Popp, solid waste/collection and drainage manager, Republic emptied the bins Tuesday morning and moved them to a secure area until a decision is made as to when and where the service will be reinstituted. A mound of material was left on the ground to be picked up by Solid Waste staff.

The project began in July with two recycling bins and Jenison reported the bins were frequently used. A third bin was added in August. Jenison said signs were posted at the entrances informing users of the rules. He said the signs did not do much good.

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“We always had a problem with people leaving things on the ground,” Jenison said. He also commented that people put trash and other items in the bins that could not be recycled. During a recent city council meeting, it was reported someone put a mattress into one of the bins.

Problems also arose when users did not break down the cardboard, causing it to take up excessive space. Residents were encouraged to keep their recyclable items if the bins were full.

While program ended, the city is still looking for ways to accommodate Muscatine and Fruitland residents who wish to recycle. The residents have the option of using the bi-weekly curbside recycling collection by Republic Service for recyclable material. The city is discussing moving the bins inside the compost facility fence where an employee is always working.

Jenison commented over the last few years recycling has become less economically feasible, because the Chinese market ending the purchase of most recyclables has driven the cost down.

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