AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Putting out the recycling bin for pickup is a regular practice for about 20,000 city garbage customers.  

“Because it is just the right thing to do, I mean, to keep stuff out of the landfill, we hope that it gets recycled, we’ve actually been doing it for 15 years,” said Christy Key.

In Augusta, the materials have been coming here for years to this transfer station. The city leases the space for $3,500 a month, but there is no sign of any recycling. 

“We’re just wasting money, this is something we need to investigate, try and find out if it is really being recycled and if not, we have some problems,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.

City engineers say because of contamination, Augusta basically has a program in name only. In response to an email saying that 99 percent of material hauled to the facility is not recycled and instead hauled by city staff to the landfill. 99 percent.

“Wow that is terrible, that’s really terrible,” said Key.

“Been a person who wanted to look at what we do with that type of waste, we are losing money, I really think the city would be better off if we got rid of it,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Williams.

But Augusta’s new mayor is not ready to abandon the program.  

“I am a huge fan of recycling, I believe in recycling, everything from aluminum to plastic to anything that can be recycled,” said Mayor-Elect Garnett Johnson.  

“I would like it to continue, I think it is worthwhile I think maybe more education could be done for the people because I do not think people intentionally put the wrong things in there,” said Key. 

But the intention for what is coming here is for it to be recycled, but the city is only going through the motions.