Sunday, May 08, 2011

Defeating The Recycling Scavengers

I'm actually with Andrew Bird on this one, reading his comment to the letter- to- the- editor in the Times- Standard this morning. I don't have much of a problem as some folks do with the bums going around and scavenging recyclables from wherever they can. After all, they're just trying to make ends meet.

But I'll agree it can be a problem when they get into the recycling bins and leave a mess. I'm sure that happens, although I have yet to see an actual instance of it. There's also the issue of them basically stealing what legally belongs to Recology and which is used to help pay for the curbside service. Point well made. That is a problem.

I haven't had any of those problems yet and I don't know that anyone has ever gone through my recycling bin. Why? First of all, as City Garbage asked when the program was first started, I only put the bin out on the sidewalk when it's full, which means every 5 or 6 weeks.

Not to digress and I'm not sure how it is now, but I noticed when this first started many people placed the bins out every week with only a handful of recyclables in them to pick up. It's not cost effective for City Garbage to be picking up just a handful of recyclables. Wait for the bin to fill up as I do. It's usually the paper side that fills up first and that generally takes about 6 weeks.

Second, I don't leave it out overnight. I take it out before I go to work in the morning so there's less time for the scavengers to find it. You have to have an idea of when the recycling truck generally comes by for this to work but, since they come by towards the afternoon in my neighborhood, I place my bin out between 9 and 10am. Doesn't give anyone a lot of time to find it that way.

Lastly, I generally take crv aluminum to the recycling center myself for redemption so there's not much of value in the bin, anyway. We might have a plastic bottle or two, but there are so few of them they're hard to find.

Simple enough. Give it a try.
Oh, as an aside, I've noticed a lot of people don't know that cold pack paper isn't recyclable. Cold Pack, or whatever it's called, is paper and cardboard type material that's used to package items that are refrigerated. Twelve pack boxes that soda and beer comes in, frozen pizza boxes and stuff like that should NOT be put in with the newspapers and office paper. It goes in the trash.

Just FYI.


At 10:51 AM, Blogger Rose said...

"Stealing" trash. A whole new crime.

Actually, the guys who used to go through the dumpsters in Old Town were the best recyclers of all - they were hard workers and very industrious. Then people started padlocking the bins. The humanity of it all.

I agree they shouldn't leave a mess - but Bird and his ilk are all about taking what people have and giving it to others - why not start here.

captcha word: rechic

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's so hard about not stealing? It's in a dumpster, with a lid. It's not yours! And yes, part of your garbage rate is predicated on the money the garbage company can claim for sorting through your trash. You want to encourage the filthy bums to go through peoples dumpsters? Fine. Then you should have no problem eating another 15-20% on your monthly garbage bill. Simple as that. Theft is theft. Its a whole other thing entirely if the bums are out on the side of the road collecting trash not in the system, but by stealing trash already in a dumpster, all you are doing is stealing money! Wake up! Its simple.

Put the bums on Indian island and let them fend for themselves.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

And yes, part of your garbage rate is predicated on the money the garbage company can claim for sorting through your trash.

No they don't. The folks at the transfer station don't sort through the trash for recyclables, although that was my suggestion when they were talking about forcing garbage service and recycling on everyone.

They have placed bins near the dumping area so people can dump some of their own recyclables but the "yard monkeys" that monitor the dumping don't generally look for recyclables.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theft is theft Fred. Stop trying to justify it.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Ok. So taking something that's going to be thrown away is theft. Fine.

You seem like someone I know who I ended up taking some recyclables to the drop off place over near the Boy's and Girl's Club in Eureka, before it burned down.

There was some guy going through a dumpster there, looking for recyclables. He put everything back in and didn't make a mess, just taking aluminum cans and such.

I had a few aluminum cans so gave them to him. He seemed industrious enough and appreciated it.

When I got back home I told they guy whose recyclables I dumped that I gave the cans to the "bum". He seemed to get all twisted over that. "What did you do that for?".

I just told him the guy was trying to make some money so I helped him out. He was like you and didn't like that idea at all.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also a little issue known as trespassing Fred. whether the garbage is on your property or in a can on the road, it is still trespassing. Or do you think it is ok if you have a young female employee who you ask to take out the trash, that she runs the risk of being raped while taking the trash out, just so we can as a society allow these bums to trespass and take what they please?

How about we instill respect for private property rights instead of eroding them for those who already have no respect for private property?

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

that she runs the risk of being raped while taking the trash out, just so we can as a society allow these bums to trespass and take what they please?

Puhleeease! You're really grasping at straws now. We shouldn't allow anybody to do anything because of the risk of rape if you want to use that argument.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think a rape is not possible, but I am telling you it is. This exact situation happened and now I am the one who takes all the trash out, for fear that one of my employees could be raped, mugged, or otherwise harrassed.

Two months ago a young female employee of mine took the garbage out to the back alleyway to be placed in a dumpster when she was harassed (and scared to the point she was shaking) by a bald homeless man who insulted her for working for minimum wage at the same time he demanded she hand over the garbage bags. She herself felt that this was a situation that could have easily escalated and she could have been placed in the back of this guys vehicle. It wasn't that long ago that a woman at a bar in Blue lake was drugged and placed in the back of some bums van to be driven off somewhere and presumably raped.

Now you may say that an allegation of rape is ridiculous, but it would not have taken much more for this bum to have done much more than scare and harass my employee.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

If you're really serious about this, then I'd suggest you sell the wife's car and start driving her everywhere instead. She could get raped going out to get in her car. So could your employees.

Think of the possibilities!!!

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again I am talking about an incident where a female employee of mine was insulted for working at minimum wage and her garbage bags were physically snatched from her. This individuals van was sitting feet from where he lurched towards her. She was clearly upset, and that has made me upset. This situation is out of control and it must be stopped. My employees deserve better.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

That could easily have happened with or without garbage or recycling being involved. I feel safe in saying that the vast majority of times such things happen, garbage or recyclables aren't involved.

Seriously. If that incident had such an impact on you, I'd start thinking of restricting all aspects of you and your employees' daily life. Crime, and even people being rude, can happen anywhere and at any hour of the day.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Fred, you're obviously not responsible for the safety and welfare of anyone but yourself. If you had to listen to this young woman describe this bum's monstrous appearance and snarling mouth, you to would be concerned. If you had to console a young woman who feared that she might have been abducted and raped, you to would be outraged. If you had to listen to this young girl describe how a filthy bum had ridiculed her work and her pay scale as though he were better than her, you to would have had enough.

These bums are trespassers. These bums are thieves. It is time to take a stand against them.

At 7:54 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'm afraid I can't relate to where you're coming from if for no other reason I don't understand what you're recommending be done about guys and gals going through trash dumpsters looking for recyclables.

What would you recommend? What would you like to see done?

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Minimumn-wage Slave said...

How about this scenario. You put out the recycling the night before, like most of us. Overnight, someone goes through everything, looking at receipts, labels, buying habits, empty packages for expensive items, etc. They essentially cased your house for a future robbery.
The second half of this is something that happened to me. I accidentally discarded an "important" item and when I went out the next morning to find it (in the trash that I still legally owned) discovered someone had gone through my bins and taken it. That item and the contents of the bins were legally still my property. The second they enter that big truck they're owned by Recology.
There are only two people on the planet that have any right at all to even touch my recycling and garbage, and those people are the collector and myself. I can legally shoot you for going through my bins and anyone else can as well.
It's called survival of the fittest. If you can't figure out how to be homeless without breaking the law then you aren't an innocent homeless person, you are a criminal and therefore have zero rights other than to remain incarcerated...

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Rose said...


At 9:03 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...


Yep. Talking about going in circles.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

As someone who is currently homeless I recycle in order to make money to eat. Despite being a man of character I have still been threatened by APD that if I'm caught recycling I will be arrested for petty theft. I asked the cops to show me the law and they refused. Also, consider that there's big money being made from recycling and the city wants that money, the individual entrepreneur is the city's competition. When I recycle I am quiet, clean, and quick about it. My only goal is to get the crv and move along. I don't want trouble from police but the APD tends to make trouble for themselves. I will be doing an episode on this subject for my next feature on teh nick bravo show channel 12, teusday and saturday nights at 8pm.


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