LYNN (CBS) – There were people rifling through the trash in Lynn Thursday, hoping to teach residents about recycling.

The city’s recycling coordinator teamed up with the non-profit Recycling Partnership to search through bins to see if people are separating their garbage correctly.

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Trash found in a recycling bin in Lynn. (WBZ-TV)

Some communities will fine homeowners if they’re caught putting trash in recycling bins. Lynn does not do that. Instead, they put a tag on the big green barrels that have the wrong items inside.

For example, plastic bags don’t belong in your recycling bin. Liquids and food are also a problem. One resident’s bin was tagged because it was filled with Styrofoam cups, food waste, used paper plates and napkins.

Trash found in a recycling bin in Lynn. (WBZ-TV)

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Recycling coordinator Julia Green said some residents are trying to do the right thing, but they’re not clear on what can be recycled and what can’t. So the city is tagging homeowners with the intent of training, not punishing them.

“Recycling is not costing us more than trash, so economically it still makes sense for Lynn to do the recycling and if we can clean it up, it’s going to be cheaper for us, so cleaning up is really important,” she told WBZ-TV.

A can tagged after trash was found in a recycling bin in Lynn. (WBZ-TV)

Green hopes to have the whole city properly trained in about five years.

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The program is paid for by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.