New cameras, prominent signs in place at 2 Rivers Industries to stymie theft and dumping

Hiding among the usual stacks of corrugated cardboard, plastics and other recyclable items at 2 Rivers Industries, staff members have found stomach-churning surprises like a field dressed deer carcass, fish remains and even a loaded box of dog droppings. The days of finding such unpleasant surprises may soon come to an end with a new addition to the Hannibal facility.

Security cameras are now in place, made possible by the Senate Bill 40 grant, said Assistant Director Kelly Kuijper. Signs are also mounted on each container, defining what items can be dropped off and how to bag up items so they don’t blow away. In the past, people have illegally dumped items, littered and stole aluminum cans — which provide a source of income for the operations at 2 Rivers Industries.

“They’re not only stealing from our operations, they’re stealing from those who donate,” Kuijper said.

2 Rivers Industries is a sheltered workshop, employing people with disabilities in various positions as they recycle and process items Monday through Friday. The employees learn vocational skills they can use at 2 Rivers Industries or at another employer in the future. Instances of littering or illegal dumping stall productivity and can damage items destined for recycling.

But now that the signs and cameras are in place, 2 Rivers Industries personnel can report those incidents to the Hannibal Police Department. So far, the presence of the cameras and signs have made a significant impact, with more people placing loose items in bags and less of them dumping illegal items. Kuijper said the security measures have made a difference that’s readily apparent on the grounds.

“Things have been going very well,” she said. “Our facility is the cleanest it’s been in years.”

She encouraged anyone with questions about what 2 Rivers Industries accepts for recycling to call 573-221-3211 or visit their website at http://www.2riversind.org or their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/2RiversInd/ .

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com