Windsor’s recycling center has new rules after misuse caused town to consider closing it

The town of Windsor will require proof of residency to use its recycling center starting this week, after the town says misuse and use by other communities has raised the costs of running the site.

The Windsor Recycling Center re-opened this February in a new location next the town’s new Public Works Department facility, which, according to a news release from the town, was intended to discourage misuse.

The move didn’t help, said Eric Lucas, the director of the Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, in the release. People are continuing to come from other communities to use the center, and people are dumping non-recyclable items.

“Windsor’s recycling program was meant to support residential curbside recycling efforts, not replace it,” Lucas said.

Starting Wednesday, a gate attendant will monitor the site, and residents will be asked to show either a driver’s license or Windsor utility bill to use the recycling center.

Each bin at Windsor’s recycling center states what can and cannot be included in each container, but, according to the town, each time someone dumps something that doesn’t belong in a bin, the town often has to take it to the landfill, which is more costly.

The town will work to educate residents about what belongs in the recycling bins, Lucas said.

In 2018, the old site’s misuse cost the town $20,000 to clean, according to the release, and the recent misuse has cost the town an extra $1,000 a week to continue its operations.