updated 1/29/2006 3:36:09 PM ET 2006-01-29T20:36:09

You may recycle cans and bottles, but Charleston County has a request for its residents: Please don’t recycle your old guns and ammunition.

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The county is making the plea after dangerous items, including a loaded gun, were found earlier this month at the county recycling plant.

The plant has an assembly line where recycled items are sorted by hand, said Gregg Vainer, director of the county Solid Waste and Recycling Department.

On Jan. 17, a worker found a torn paper bag with bullets inside. Then a second bag with another box of bullets came down the line. Next, workers found a box with bullets and three guns — one of which was loaded.

Police were called to pick up the guns and ammunition.

“The worst thing someone can do is put these items in their recycling bins or drop-site containers, because those items will be hand-sorted by people, unlike their garbage,” said department spokeswoman Christine DeStefano.

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