MERIDEN — City officials want to educate the public on recycling rules before implementing a stricter system that includes fines for violators.
”We are required to implement the DEEP’s “What’s In, What’s Out,” said Public Works Director Howard Weissberg. “The reality is for us not to pay potential fines, we have to ensure residents are following the rules.”
A representative from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will give a presentation at the Meriden Public Library Wednesday on what residents should and shouldn’t recycle.
The city is encouraging residents to be mindful of what they recycle because the city is putting its recycling contract out to bid next year and higher rates of unacceptable recycling materials could cost the city more per load.
Residents who violate recycling guidelines will get three warnings before recieving a $100 fine per violation, Weissberg said.
DEEP has been giving the recycling presentation in municipalities around the state.
The presentation will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Griffin Room of the library, at 105 Miller St.
The global recyling system was interrupted after China refused to stop accepting U.S. plastic scrap.
As a result, the costs are getting transferred from the recyclers to the haulers and to the municipalities. “Our contract is up next year, so we are doing thing to properly ensure fees remain stable,” Weissberg said. “We are trying to educate first. Fines are a last resort.”
Haulers identify non-compliant customers by inspecting carts and taking video of the cart being dumped.
The collector notifies the Director of Public Works of any violation of the recycling provisions within 24 hours.
Public Works then gives a written notice to the violator. After a second notice, the violator receives a warning about penalties should there be a another violation.
Under state statute, the city could also decide not to collect solid waste from that unit.
DEEP has information about the program on its website, including a link that answers yes or no on what items can be included in a recyling cart.