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Greensboro dealing with illegal dumping problem

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Dumpsters are being hauled away and bright orange cones with the words "No dumping" are popping up all over Greensboro.

It's all a desperate attempt by city leaders to get people to start following the rules and keep the city clean.

"People sometimes see a dumpster and use that as an opportunity to drop off whatever items they might have," said Tori Carle, the waste reduction supervisor for the city of Greensboro. "Whether it be a couch, a TV, old paint or just their garbage."

She says wooden planks and old furniture are just some of the things that Greensboro city crews find next to dumpsters meant for recycling.

"Some of these recycling dumpsters see more than 50% garbage in the dumpster as well as illegal dumping around the dumpster," Carle said. "We've just had organizations calling us up or residents calling in and saying 'There's a bunch of junk on the ground. Can the city come and clean it up?'"

So they're taking away the convenient dumpsters.

Carle says they've already removed half of the 20 public dumpsters in the city.

"We're continuing to see dumping going on there. So we've had to put up signs for dumpsters. They're not public dumpsters. They're not meant to be used for public dumping or leaving your personal recyclables behind," Carle said.

It's a problem that's proving costly.

"The city has to come out and clean that up. We have to send out a separate crew and a separate truck to pick those items up," Carle said.

It also could pose a bigger issue.

"Dumping and leaving your furniture and garbage is illegal," Carle said. "And the other part of it is that its a potential health and safety hazard."

Carle hopes that with this initiative, people will realize recycling is more convenient than they may think.

"If a resident has bulk that they need to get rid of, if you put in ton the curb in front of your house, we will come get it on the same day as your recycling day," Carle said.

This change may be temporary.

FOX8 is told that the city would like to put back these dumpsters if and when they feel that people would use them correctly.

If things don't change, the city may start trying to catch people on video who still illegally dump.

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