MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Thousands of pages filled with personal information were found in an open top recycling dumpster. The City of Midland says the lids are often left open making it possible for papers to be blown out. They are warning residents to watch what they toss away.
Butt's Recycling gets their fair share of non-recyclable items, food, garbage and the wrong numbered plastics, but it was the personal files brought in to recycle that was extremely alarming.
"It had employee files, social security numbers, addresses, birthdays, checking account numbers," Secured Document Shredding Operation Manager, Jessica Diaz, said. "Having it dropped off and simply bailed was not the proper destruction."
Pages upon pages of classified information. The company refused them, saying that the documents needed to be shredded. The customers decided to avoid the cost and keep the boxes of papers.
The next day, the city found them in an open dumpster.
"You're putting other people at risk when you put things like confidential information, social security numbers, in a trash can, which lots of people rummage through," said Amanda Byrom, executive director of Keep Midland Beautiful.
The documents were brought back to the Butt's Recycling when the city found them. They decided to shred them for free to protect people's information.
Now, they're warning everyone to take responsibility for what they throw out.
"We want to make sure that our program is done right, so we can charge the less amount as possible and still have a viable recycling program," said Waste Director, Morris Williams.
To find out what can and can't be recycled, visit keepmidlandbeautiful.org.