Recycling collection point in Dothan turns into dump

Mattresses, furniture, discarded food, and other items dumped at Dothan recycling collection point. Photo from October 25, 2018.
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Dothan (WTVY)-- A collection site for recyclables looks like a dump and smells like one, also, because forbidden items were left there.

Dothan Public Works Director Charles Metzger admits the city is slow picking up from collection bins because all available workers are busy removing massive amounts of debris caused by Hurricane Michael.

However, the bigger issue is non-recyclable waste strewn at the site, only 200 yards from Dothan's Westgate Park.

“This has been an ongoing problem,” Metger said.

Many recyclable goods were left on the ground because of the full bins but, on Thursday, mattresses, chairs, discarded food, and even a basketball goal had also been placed there.

This comes at a time when the city's recycling program is in jeopardy of either ceasing or—and this is more likely ---being reduced.

China, a major player, greatly changed dynamics this year when it tightened standards for accepting shipments of recyclable goods, especially plastics.

Even without the China effect,Metzger said demand for recyclables has also lessened. “For instance, nobody wants flimsy water bottles, only lids from them.”

City commissioners will meet with Metzger and his staff next month to hear recycling concerns and they could vote to change the program next year.

In the meantime, Metzger hopes people will respect collection bins and drop only recyclables into them.