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Recycling center woes

People are abusing center in Princeton

PRINCETON — The city of Princeton is still having concerns about illegal dumping of items at its recycling center on North Euclid Avenue.

At this week’s meeting of the Princeton City Council, Commissioner Ray Mabry said the community enjoys having a recycling center, but some people are abusing it. In recent weeks, furniture and prescription drugs have been dropped off at the center. As he’s said before, probably 95 percent of the people are following the guidelines, but the other 5 percent are causing a problem for everyone else. Also, there are people, outside of the Princeton community, who are apparently bringing their yard waste to the adjoining brush collection site, he said.

“We want to remain a green community and offer the recycling center, but it gets tough when we continue to have things dumped there that aren’t recyclable in any way, shape or form,” Mabry said.

Commissioner Joel Quiram said he’s under the impression that most of the illegal dumping is done during the overnight hours. A couple years ago, he brought up the idea of setting regular open hours for the recycling center and closing it overnight, which would probably eliminate a huge percentage of illegal dumping. Fencing could help with the closing of the center at night, he said.

When there is illegal dumping, city crews have to go over and clean it up, Quiram added.

Mayor Keith Cain said he’s asked the council to have cameras installed at the recycling center, which should eliminate some of the ongoing problems of illegal dumping. A camera was installed at the Veterans Park gazebo, across from city hall, and that has greatly helped with problems there, the mayor said.

If fencing was installed, he has a concern that people would just drop their stuff there, Cain said. He also doesn’t want to see junk placed in alleys or other places.

No further action was taken on possible solutions to the problem, other than a request from the council for people to not abuse the recycling center or brush collection site.

In his report at Monday’s meeting, Princeton City Manager Jeff Clawson presented a proposal for Wendler Engineering, of Dixon to put together plans for a possible parking lot reconstruction project at the Amtrak depot station, with an engineering cost of $10,000. That information would be presented to Vissering Construction as a possible way to offset some balances for the company’s liquidated damages with the city’s new water treatment plant project. Once the engineering is complete, the city can negotiate further terms with Vissering Construction, Clawson said.

The council will take the proposal under consideration at its next meeting.

The council also heard from Steve Bouslog, president of the Youth Services Bureau of Illinois Valley Foundation Board, and Frank Vonch, executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Illinois Valley, who were present for the signing of a proclamation by Mayor Keith Cain designating April as Child Abuse Awareness Month.

After 25 years of investigating child abuse and neglect cases, Vonch said he wish he could say child abuse and neglect were diminishing, but that’s not what’s happening. It’s good to have a YSB office in Princeton and it’s important to remember child abuse awareness is an issue not just during April but throughout the year, he said.

Statistics show five children die from child abuse each day in the United States, Bouslog said. That’s a sad statistic, and it’s important for people to be aware of child abuse and to support the efforts that try to eliminate it, he said.

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