Local News

Nov 1, 2013 5:45 PM by Caroline Flores - cflores@kristv.com

Dangerous Items Found In Recycle Bins

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Corpus Christi recycling center is having some serious concerns about items being placed in recycle bins. Just recently they have found items ranging from live ammunition to used syringes.

"Look at this bullet. And it's live. And this... That's not the first one. This is the last one that came through. It's got a dent in it," said Angela Gonzales as she was showing me the bullet.

Gonzales works with the Solid Waste Department and says when they see items like bullets come out of recycle bins, the reaction is simple and straight to the point.

"What's the matter with you? Look at it. What..... This is not recyclable. This goes to your police department," said Gonzales.

Almost the entire recycling system is made of metal. So I'm told a live bullet going through the system could easily explode. I asked if that could possibly kill someone, Gonzales said yes.

So if you think finding a bullet is terrifying for workers, you haven't seen anything yet. Workers find piles of used syringes on a daily basis.

That is not only hazardous material, but it is a huge health risk to employees. Workers take non recyclable materials out with their hands and you can guess what can happen if there is a needle in the mix.

"Yeah, I can't even bring myself to say it," said Gonzales. So I said it for her. I said if someone's pulling a syringe out of the recycle pile, there is a good chance they could get stuck. Gonzales said yes.

They have also found propane tanks, and even a chainsaw in the mix. Gonzales says this needs to stop.

To see a full list of items allowed in your recycle bins click - here. Or you can call the city's customer call center at (361) 888-CITY (2489).

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