CANAL WINCHESTER, OH (WCMH) – The City of Canal Winchester is removing its downtown recycling drop-off location on June 20th. 

Mayor Michael Ebert said the closure comes on the heels of a decline in the recycling industry and China’s rejection of imported recyclable materials. 

He said if they were to continue to have the containers it could potentially cost the city $22,000 a week or over a million dollars a year.

“I’m hoping someday we can bring the containers back if the market straightens out,” said Mayor Ebert. 

For now, he said the decline in the recycling industry doesn’t seem to be a short-term problem.

“For months now it’s been widely known that the recycling industry is having its issues about getting rid of the recycled materials,” said Mayor Ebert. 

He said the city’s refuse supplier announced it will start charging a fee of $69 per cubic yard of contaminated recyclables or trash mixed into the containers. 

“The containers are being misused,” said Mayor Ebert.

He said a toilet was seen at the site recently.

“Pizza boxes, people think are recyclable they’re not because they have grease in them,” said Mayor Ebert. “Milk cartons are if they’re rinsed. If they’re not rinsed they’re also considered contamination.”

He said it’s estimated that about 30% or more of the city’s recyclables are contaminated.

“They’ve always said 10% was OK,” said Mayor Ebert. “Now, they’ve lowered that to a 0.5%.” 

The city has five recycling containers, each holding eight cubic yards, picked up eight times per week. Mayor Ebert said that could amount to over $22,000 per week in fines.

“That’s just unsustainable for the city to do,” he said. 

For now, resident said they’ll just have to start putting their recyclables in the trash.

“I hate to see it leave. I hope they bring it back,” said resident Larry Davis. “I think recycling’s a good program. I wish more people did properly.”

The city said SWACO has recycling drop-off locations across Central Ohio. CLICK HERE to learn more.