Nobody ever wants to get tagged on the playground. It means you are out of the game.

Getting tagged by the City of Victoria isn’t as harsh. When you get an orange tag from Environmental Services, it might mean there were things in your recycle cart that contaminated the load, that the carts were overloaded or too close to each other on the curb or that you had some large items that the city didn’t know needed to be picked up.

The tags are there to inform residents about how to dispose of things, which helps the city keep from raising rates.

How does this work? Let’s talk about recycling (because we almost always talk about recycling). If your green cart is contaminated with food, has yard waste in it or has non recyclable plastic bags, here’s what happens: A camera on the truck captures the contamination as it is being dumped and the driver will tag the cart. The resident must call Environmental Services within two weeks for the city to continue picking up recyclables.

If too many contaminated green cart loads make it into the truck or if even one has a lot of liquids in it, the truckload could become contaminated. If the load makes it to the recycling facility in San Antonio, the rebate offered for “clean” recyclable loads goes down or goes completely away, and the city has to pay the full user fee.

Why should we care? Because when the city pays more, its residents pay more. Simple economics.

You might also get a tag for mixing lumber with your yard waste. City workers won’t separate the items. The resident gets a tag and must separate the items before scheduling another pickup.

There is a schedule for yard waste pickup, but large items – such as furniture, large appliances without freon and minor construction debris – are collected Monday, Tuesday and Thursday by appointment.

What do you do when you get a tag? City workers will write on the tags what the problem was. If you don’t understand or want to talk to someone about it, call Environmental Services at 361-485-3230. The employees will be happy to explain.

For more information on city collections, visit victoriatx.org/departments/environmental-services.

Sara Hendricks is the communications assistant for the City of Victoria’s Public Information Office. If you have questions about the city, please email them to Sara Hendricks at shendricks@victoriatx.org.

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