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City of El Paso asking residents to keep trash bins clean

Dirty trash containers could lead to them being taken away, say El Paso city officials. (CREDIT: KFOX14/CBS4)

The city of El Paso has been getting a rather potent complaint, and it involves residents' trash containers.

City officials said a lot people don't think about how dirty their recycle and trash containers can get. That's why the city is recommending residents to clean them at least twice a week.

If not, those who don't clean their recylce containers could see some consequences.

"Sometimes, we put warnings on people's containers telling them to clean it out when they're too contaminated," said Joe Amador, the solid waste supervisor. "After the third warning, we take the container away from them."

Amador said there is a way for a person to get their container back, and it's not by paying a fine.

"If they want their container back, they have to go and attend a class at city hall," Amador said. "Just to show them how the recycle program works, and the proper way to treat your containers."

Amador said there is no fine or class for a dirty trash container. He also said the city cannot take away people's trash container.

The reason the city is asking for this is because every day, Amador has one employee dedicated to cleaning out foul and abused containers. Some are so bad, they have to be soaked overnight in order to clean them out.

Amador said the summer time is one of the worse season for his department. He said the hot weather can make the contamination in the containers even worse.

The city said garbage in the gray trash bins should always be bagged. Recyclable materials in the blue bins should not be bagged, except for shredded paper and plastic bags.

Customers who need their bins repaired or replaced should contact the environmental services department by dialing 3-1-1.

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