Local residents may have noticed the recent removal, then return of the rural recycling bins located near the county highway shed in Spring Valley.

The bins were removed after numerous issues at the site. During the recent Fillmore County Board of Commissioners meeting, sanitation administrator Jon Martin addressed the issues where he explained the bins had been used as illegal dumping receptacles for "oil, computers, televisions," and more so the bins were removed to deter any further dumping.

Rural residents in the area quickly took notice of the removal, leading to complaints to the commissioners.

Rural Spring Valley resident Benny Helgeson approached the commissioners explaining that without the bins, residents were unable to properly dispose of their recyclables, noting residents are afraid the county's ditches will become the next illegal dumping sites.

There had also been recent reports of illegal dumping at the city's composting site.

After much discussion the commissioners decided to replace the bins, which were then returned late last week.

According to Martin, his department will be working with the Fillmore County Sheriff's office to set up cameras around the site in hopes of catching and prosecuting all offending parties.

Their mission is to send a message that illegal dumping will not be tolerated in Spring Valley or Fillmore County, in general.

He noted that while all cities have some issues with illegal dumping, Spring Valley has become one of the worst cases in the county.

There are ways for community members, within the city and rural, to take a stand and help the city put an end to the problem.

First, be vigilant; if you see persons dumping anything questionable contact the authorities.

Second, take the time to review what can and cannot be recycled.

Martin cleared up some common questions pertaining to the recycling bins.

One of the main questions is whether or not recyclables need to taken out of the plastic bags most people collect them in. The answer is yes.

If recyclables, such as pop cans, are left in plastic bags the bags can then become wrapped in the sorting machine, causing damage.

He suggests plastic bags be recycled at redemption bins located at most grocery stores.

As for what can be recycled here is a basic list.

Paper

• Newspaper, cardboard, box board, tag board, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, phone books, hard cover books, paper backs, computer paper, paper towel tubes and shredded paper in a closed box or closed paper bag.

Glass

• Jars, bottles and jugs that have been thoroughly rinsed.

Steel, tin and aluminum cans

• Steel covers, clean aluminum foil and pie plates.

Plastics

• Any plastic container with a 1 or 2 inside the chasing arrows on the bottom of the container including jugs, bottles and ice cream pails. These, too, should be thoroughly rinsed.

Non-recyclables

The following are often found in the bins, but should instead be put into household garbage: Candy wrappers, used tissue, dirty diapers, small appliances, ovenware, yogurt containers, fridge packs, plastic toys, flower pots, plastic sleds, canning jars, windows, mirrors, ceramics, light bulbs, egg cartons, all forms of Styrofoam, soiled cardboard pizza boxes, soiled aluminum foil, amber pill bottles, lawn and deck furniture, lumber and mattresses.

For more information on recycling in Fillmore County visit the website at http://www.co.fillmore.mn.us/sanitation or call (507) 765-4704.