ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. -- The St. Lucie County Solid Waste workers are finding more than plastic and paper in recycling bins lately, but something that's causing concern.
Program Manager Allison MacDonald says they’re finding more live ammunition and loaded guns. They are also finding guns that are not loaded, but functional.
Now, they’re urging the public to stop putting those items in their recycling carts.
MacDonald says it puts their workers’ safety and the community at risk.
“We’ve had several guns that we have found loaded just as recent as in the past two weeks,” MacDonald said.
In the two years that the county has taken over processing its recycling, MacDonald says at least 6 or 7 weapons have been found on their conveyor belts.
St. Lucie County also processes recycling for Martin and Okeechobee counties.
“It’s very unsafe for the people who are hauling the material to when it’s here and being processed.”
MacDonald also does not want to see the guns available for someone to pull out of a recycling cart on the curb.
The Solid Waste Authority stays in close contact with law enforcement to report weapons or ammunition that they find.
“If there is someone out there looking to get rid of a piece of evidence or something that they don’t want to keep in their homes, we do call the police,” MacDonald said.
Right now, Fort Pierce Police are holding on to three guns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition that were found within just the last two weeks.
They have not been tied to any crimes, but police keep them catalogued in case they were involved in a crime officers do not know about yet.
MacDonald hopes to teach the public now to keep their weapons and ammunition out of the recycling carts.
Call your local law enforcement to get rid of any unwanted weapons.