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Portland City Council cracking down on recycling violators

Councilors may grant anonymity to those who tell on neighbors

The Portland City Council will consider two new ordinances Wednesday to rein in residents who are knowingly violating the rules for curbside recycling and composting.

One ordinance will make it a city code violation to place diapers, plastic bags of trash, pet waste, Styrofoam, or other improper materials in the wrong cart. The other will assure confidentiality for those who turn in neighbors who are violating the city system.

As reported in the Portland Tribune on May 24, trash and recycling haulers have notified more than 1,200 residential customers that they have stowed the wrong materials in recycling carts, which is mucking up the sorting equipment used to process recyclables collected at the curbside.

Some residents are still angry that the city reduced garbage pickups to every other week last Oct. 31, when the city also added weekly pickup of yard debris bins, and, for the first time, allowed kitchen waste to be included in the green yard debris bins.

That may explain why there is an increase in people putting bags of trash, diapers and other materials in the blue recycling carts, where they do not belong.

The city's new system reduced trash going to the landfill by 44 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the prior year.