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El Paso

City of El Paso calls it ‘miscommunication’ after recycle sites refuse to allow multiple bin emptying

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Trash and recycling sits out ready for pickup.

EL PASO, Texas -- It's been several weeks since the city suspended the recycling curbside pickup program. With no one picking up the blue bins, some El Pasoans have had to take the bins to a city collection site.

Ruben Duran told ABC-7 he was being neighborly when he decided to take his neighbor's bin along with his, but when he got there, he said workers only allowed him to empty one.

"I'm trying to help my neighbor also and they're putting these regulations in that don't make any sense," said Duran.

After receiving complaints, the city said not being able to empty multiple bins was a "miscommunication."

Nicholas Ybarra with the Environment Department told ABC-7 that before the curbside program was suspended, employees were not allowed to let residents empty multiple bins because it was usually an indicator a commercial company was using a citizen collection site to empty trash.

Now, Ybarra said everything has been cleared up and employees have now been instructed to let people empty multiple bins.

"We did mention to them that when it comes to the blue cans, to let everybody in because this is a difficult time for a lot of people," said Ybarra.

Duran also said when he went to take his bins, there was a long wait time.

The city responded with a statement, saying in part:

"It is not unusual for drop-off sites to have waiting times, particularly during peak periods. Due to the change to curbside recycling services, the drop-off sites are experiencing an increase in customers. The sites are fully staffed and are processing customers as quickly as possible. Extra containers have been placed at all five CCS locations to assist with increased recycling traffic.  We ask for the community's cooperation and patience during these challenging times. Customers are encouraged to sign up for a Citizen Collection Site pass to reduce their wait times at drop-off sites."

The city will be holding a virtual town hall meeting about recycling on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

To participate visit https://bit.ly/3f81lRy or dial the toll free number 1 (833) 664-9267, and enter conference id # 308964197.

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Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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