ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a big problem at some of the City of Albuquerque‘s recycling drop-off sites. Instead of following the rules and leaving their recyclables, people are dumping their trash and it’s creating a huge mess. The recycling center on Juan Tabo Boulevard is just one of 11 locations throughout the city where residents can drop off their recyclable materials but some people have been using it as their own personal landfill.

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“Unfortunately, one of the things that happens is people see the sites and they’ll leave things there that shouldn’t be there so they’ll drop off things thinking well hey I can just leave it here but it’s not intended for that purpose and we do have signage on our cans that say recyclables only,” said Albuquerque Solid Waste Director, Matthew Whelan. 

With the signs there, the majority of people tend to follow them but there are those who, according to Whelan, wait until nightfall to illegally dump their non-recyclable materials. He says it is a crime to dump non-recyclable items, however, it is out of his hands and up to the Albuquerque Police Department to catch and ticket those who are littering and illegally dumping.

People who live and work nearby say they’re fed up with the huge mess all the trash creates and just when you think it’s all cleaned up another giant mess is made.

“Well, obviously stuff like this where they haven’t folded it, but the worst thing is that people put trash in there that’s not recyclable at all,” said Albuquerque resident, Allen Lott.

“The boxes are a problem, give them a great big bin with a narrow slit and say folded boxes only and what they are going to do I hope they corporate,” said another Albuquerque resident, Linda Picard.

The Solid Waste department says if you do have larger items that need to be recycled or thrown out, you can schedule a pickup with the city for free. Residents can also take it to one of the three convenience centers in the city and drop their trash off there for $5. The 11 recycling sites around the city are emptied three times a day as well as cleaned nightly.