Lodi started a new 'Recycle Right' campaign after seeing a large percentage of wrong items placed in recycling and green waste containers.
"Unfortunately the last audit we had in 2016 there's a 35% contamination rate," said Joe Cadelago, public sector manager.
Greater Valley Conservation Corps is working with Waste Management on this new initiative.
Two people from Greater Valley CC go out four days a week before the trucks empty out bins to identify any contaminated items to tag and mark. They dig through people's trash but rather see what may be inside from simply opening the lid.
"We're not trying to find people," said John Atencio, Greater Valley Conservation Core. "We're just trying to let people know we're just trying to keep it cleaner."
Waste management said it's not a punishment but more of a teaching lesson.
A person will have to pay a $13.89 contamination fee after the second and third time. On the third offense, the cart is taken away for a year and replaced with a 96-gallon trash cart. The monthly rate for each additional trash cart is $87.29.
Many items they see include needs, paint, batteries, and other hazardous items.
Stockton may be the next city to go through a similar initiative.
The goal is to drop contamination levels below 10 percent.