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Recycling site gets dumped

By Staff | Mar 25, 2012

Billeye Rabbe, solid waste coordinator for Martin and Faribault counties, finds a vacuum cleaner and other items that were not supposed to be disposed at a recycling collection site for Blue Earth City Township residents.

Blue Earth City Township residents will have to find another place to take items to be recycled.

The plug has been pulled at the drop-off site located at Shell Food Mart in Blue Earth.

Actually, some 12 containers with a capacity of 300-gallons each were loaded and hauled away Wednesday morning.

“The local residents think it’s their right to come out here and dump items,” says Billeye Rabbe, solid waste coordinator for Martin and Faribault counties.

The problem was that a site intended for rural residents was being used by everyone.

And, items not intended to be recycled also were being dumped.

On the ground near a container is a VCR, CDs and a child’s car seat.

Rabbe looks inside a receptacle and finds styrofoam, a vacuum cleaner, plant potting soil, dishes and plastic storage containers.

“It’s amazing. People just don’t get it,” Rabbe says.

The last straw for Rabbe was an e-mail from the Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce to county commissioners complaints about overfilled containers and items stacked up on the ground.

“We tried everything. But, we didn’t know what else to do to make it work,” she says. “This is a no-win situation for everybody.”

While Rabbe and Bob Weerts, owner of Shell Food Mart, waited for the containers to be emptied, two Blue Earth residents drove up and tossed items into containers.

“Local residents weren’t suppose to be dumping stuff here. They took advantage of it,” says Weerts.

The collection site has been located on the Weertsproperty for the past two years.

When Faribault County and Blue Earth officials were unable to find a drop-off location, that’s when Weerts stepped forward.

Rabbe says the volume of items taken to the site increased so much that larger containers needed to be purchased.

“We couldn’t empty them fast enough,” she says.

Donna Krupp, manager of Country Kitchen, says she, employees and customers saw firsthand how the area had turned into an eyesore.

“People abused it. I don’t think they cared. They overfilled the containers and wouldn’t close the lids,” says Krupp. “When the wind was blowing, things went everywhere.”

Rabbe and Weerts believe Blue Earth officials need to make changes to the city’s curbside recycling pickup service to get more residents using it.

“This was too convenient for city residents. They could come out here anytime they wanted,” says Weerts.