‘Final warning’: RC buys cameras amid recycling crackdown

ROGERS CITY — Rogers City officials have purchased a high-resolution camera to monitor Presque Isle County’s recycling bins at the city’s transfer station.

The purchase comes after Mayor Scott McLennan announced city officials would crack down on residents who leave household trash at the recycling drop-off. McLennan said public works employees will monitor the cameras and check up on the recycling bins.

“If there is evidence that individuals are putting garbage in the recyclables, they’re to contact the police department and action will be taken,” McLennan said. “This is the final warning for citizens. We don’t want to have to do this. We don’t want to have to cite people. But we will cite people, because we’re wasting tax dollars if we allow contamination of those bins to occur.”

McLennan said it becomes very expensive for taxpayers if a load of recyclables is taken to Emmet County Recycling in Petosky and it turns out to be contaminated.

Presque Isle County can be charged a disposal fee of $16 per cubic yard for contaminated loads, according to an agreement between the two counties. A load is considered contaminated when it contains 8% or more of non-recycleable materials, such as garbage and food waste.

More information on non-recycleable materials can be found online at emmetrecycling.org.

McLennan said dumping trash at the city’s transfer station is considered “littering,” according to state law, and is punishable by an up-to-$500 fine and up to six months in jail. McLennan said police will enforce the law when it comes to littering at that location.

On a recent trip to drop off his own recyclables, McLennan said he saw seven bags of household garbage left behind the recycling bins. McLennan said he called the police so the individual leaving the garbage there could be cited.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.