Doggie bags full of pooch poop are being left in the recycling containers at the town’s parks.

Steve Pierce, director of Parks and Recreation, told the Board of Selectmen May 7 the misuse of the recycling bins began on the first day workers put them out, and is continuing.

This is an expense for the town, because the recyclables must be clean or the town gets fined. Workers have to sift through the bins and separate the contamination from the bottles and cans that are supposed to be there, said First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice. That requires labor hours, which could be better spent.

Town officials will send another wave of reminders out to the public to remind them of Wilton Parks and Recreation’s carry in-carry out program effective since last summer for trash and recycling at town-owned fields and trails.

“There are signs throughout the town to reflect the carry in-carry out policy. As with any new program it will continue to be an educational process,” Pierce said in an email when asked about signs.

The program was originally a means of bypassing a state requirement that public venues — playing fields, trails, parks, and downtown areas — must provide for the separate collection, sorting and disposal of trash and recyclables. Because this would prove costly for the Parks and Recreation Department in terms of time and labor to collect, sort and dispose of recyclables in addition to trash, the Parks and Recreation Commission adopted the carry in-carry out policy.

“The only areas we have trash and recycling are the stadium, Lilly, Middlebrook 1 and 2, Schenck’s Island, and Merwin. The stadium and Middlebrook are due to concession stands, Lilly is due to the size of the grandstands, and Merwin in the summer due to crowd size,” Pierce said.

There are other indicators, though, that the public is still leaving too much trash behind. The recent town-wide cleanup resulted in 200 volunteers collecting 3,200 pounds of trash, and that shows people are still leaving behind too much, Vanderslice said.

Any questions about the carry in-carry out program may be directed to Steve Pierce, director of Parks and Recreation, at or 203-834-6234, ext. 6.