CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – A campaign that aims to keep contaminated items out of recycling bins returns to the City of Centerville this month.

Starting Monday, Centerville city staff will go into neighborhoods on Mondays and Wednesdays before recycling pickup to inspect bins for items that cannot be recycled.

“When we talk about contamination anymore, it’s less about having a little bit of food waste or a little grease in your pizza box, and it’s more about just items that are not recyclable,” Centerville Public Works Director Pat Turnbull said.

According to the city, this year’s program called Recycle Right will include recycling customers who live on Hyde Park, Red Coach North, Glenmina, Black Oak South, Walnut Hills, Cheltenham, Nestle Creek and Walnut Creek.

“We open the lid and take a quick look just at what’s on top, and if we see things in our easy view that are not recyclable, we’ll take a picture and then leave a note,” Turnbull said.

That note will educate the customer on what’s not recyclable and what is recyclable for the next time they put out their bins.

“I think it’s the third or fourth week, if folks are continuing to have contamination in their recyclables, we will effectively then leave the recyclables on the curb,” Turnbull said.

Centerville gets its recycling services through Rumpke. The Recycle Right program first launched in 2019 and runs every other year in a different part of the community. In the three years they’ve been doing it, Turnbull said there’s been a major impact.

“We’ve seen our contamination rate in the two years we’ve run this program has effectively been cut in half after each of our, each of our campaigns,” Turnbull said.

Turnbull said recycling the right way not only benefits our planet, it benefits your wallet.

“It’s in the city’s best interest, in our residents best interest, not only doing the right thing environmentally by recycling, but keeping that contamination percentage low because it keeps our costs down for our recycling,” Turnbull said.

The city’s interns also get involved in the project. They do a pre-sort to get a baseline of the city’s contamination rate, and then a post-sort to determine if the rate has improved by the end of the campaign.

To learn more about Centerville’s Recycle Right, click here.