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Communities support recycling, but contamination still an issue

The City of Odessa is currently dealing with the contamination of recycling containers, according to Mayor Javier Joven.

ODESSA, Texas — Whether it's plastic, aluminum or paper, almost all of it can be recycled if you do it right.

However, when something is put into recycling that's not supposed to be in there, that's when it becomes a issue.

"It is so important to recycle right, I know that we say it over and over again but when a community kind of gets lax about what they're putting in their recycling, that's when you start having problems," said Doreen Womack with Keep Midland Beautiful.

Which is part of the reason why Midland only has a few drop off locations for recycling.

"That's why there's only two locations in Midland because it was decided that the public containers were getting so contaminated with things that were not being recycled, couldn't be recycled, will never be recycled that it was better to put it behind locked gates," said Womack.

Odessa is having a problem with their recycling containers, according to Mayor Joven.

"Putting in plastic or cardboard, whatever they are putting in, if one person puts one piece of trash in there, they're considering it contamination," said Mayor Joven.

Joven believes a lot of what is being put in these recycling containers is just ending up in the landfill.

"That trash has to be re-picked up, put back in the trash truck and then taken to the landfill so were picking it up twice," said Joven.

But in both Midland and Odessa, people are taking the time to recycle.

"Hundreds of people a days sometimes go and use the facility to recycle, so we believe there is a very very large percent of Midland that is using the Citizens Collection Station, the containers at BRI," said Womack.

The Odessa mayor believes the way it happens in the city needs to change.

"I know there's a segment in our community that believes in recycling and I'm with it, but this is a bad business model," said Mayor Joven.

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