China's move to get tough on contaminated recyclables is causing headaches for Broome County residents who are seeing items left in their curbside buckets.

In recent weeks, people noticed haulers were refusing to take many items that previously were collected in recycling containers.

Broome solid waste management director Debra Smith last month said enhanced efforts were being made to keep plastic bags out of recycling collections because of problems they cause with sorting equipment.

Now, the county has issued an alert to inform residents that China has banned the import of some recyclable materials because of contamination problems.

Styrofoam and take-out containers often are being placed in recycling buckets, even though they cannot be taken by haulers.

Plastics are causing big challenges because they are specific to the type of container and not tied to the code number shown in the triangular symbol on many items.

Residents are again being advised to pay attention to the recycling guidelines posted on the Broome County website.

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