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RE: [greenyes] scavenging
Doug, et al.,

I agree with your assessment that homeless people with shopping carts
are a relatively insignificant issue with regard to scavenging. 
However, the well-equipped pickup truck owner that uses municipally
issued and paid for dumpsters and carts to vastly increase their
throughput is unacceptable.

We set up a recycling program in a low-income housing project once in
Greesnboro, NC and it didn't take long to realize that we were not going
to get one aluminum can from them.  Almost every back porch had a huge
plastic bag filled with aluminum cans.  The signs that we put on the
dumpsters showing people what materials could be put in them were read
by the scavengers as "this is where to find these materials."

If scavengers want to get into the business of recycling, then as long
as they want to do it for the long haul and even when market conditions
stink, and under contract, then let them bid on the program.  Otherwise,
scavenging only makes our programs much more inefficient and costly. 
Picking up steel cans, newspapers, glass and plastic will not help pay
the bills.


>>> "Doug Koplow" <koplow@no.address> 07/03/03 03:20PM >>>
There seem to be a couple of issues going on here.  

1)  Revenue loss.  Do people feel like they are losing a significant
amount of revenue from homeless people with shopping carts?  While I
see the benefit of sting operations to stop organized scavanging (such
as via vans), I wouldn't think there is much to be gained by trying to
stop homeless people from earning a bit of money.  There was some
(I can't remember the title) that suggested that at least in bottle
states, the lost revenue on aluminum was reduced by the fact that many
scavengers were also taking deposit glass bottles as well, reducing
breakage and cross-contamination.

2)  Dumping.  The nuisance and recycling loss from dumped barrels does
seem to be a big problem.  However, as an earlier poster suggested,
problem seems as though it can be dealt with by encouraging people to
segregate the deposit/rebate items so scavengers can get them easily. 
This is done in Cambridge, MA at public trash barrels, and seems to
pretty well.  I think lots of people would actually like that their
deposits were going directly to somebody who needs them.

>>> <Sharon_Gates@no.address> 07/03/03 02:29PM >>>
I don't know about anybody else on this list, but I'd certainly not be

comfortable confronting scavengers about the illegality of their 
activities, especially in the wee hours.  And there's absolutely no

I'd detain someone while we waited for the police to show up.  Maybe
is more comfortable doing this stuff than me -- he's a big guy and he 
speaks Spanish.

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California

"Chris Cloutier" <Ccloutier@no.address>
07/03/2003 11:12 AM
Please respond to Ccloutier

        To:     "'Gary Liss'" <gary@no.address>,
        cc:     greenyes@no.address 
        Subject:        RE: [greenyes] scavenging

How many scavengers accepted the invitation to stay and be arrested?

Chris Cloutier
D&R International
1684 Selby Ave.
St. Paul, MN  55104
651.644.4989 (f)

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Liss [mailto:gary@no.address] 
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2003 1:08 PM
To: Sharon_Gates@no.address 
Cc: greenyes@no.address 
Subject: Re: [greenyes] scavenging


The exact same thing has been happening in Hawthorne.  Recently, as
the rollout of the new recycling system, Jaime Lozano (City of
has been working with the residential contractor (H&C Disposal) to do
"sting" operations in the early morning hours.
The main impetus for this sting operation was the mess left behind,
although the interest of the residential contractor was clearly
their lost revenues as well, as they retain all revenues from sale of
recyclables collected.

They've gone out a number of times in the last month.  When they
people illegally scavenging, they stopped them and warned them that it
illegal to do in Hawthorne.  The scavenger would then leave.  If they
the scavenger again, they then asked the scavenger to stay, and they 
the Police to come and arrest them.  You can contact Jaime Lozano at
jalozano@no.address for more info.

At 09:33 AM 07/03/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>The revenue loss from scavenging is a very minor factor in our
>problem in Long Beach.  The problem is that people go through our
>and down our streets rifling through recycling bins, making noise,
>disturbing residents, etc.  Often the scavengers will dump the
>the bin, take what they want, and leave the rest on the ground.  Then

>the recycling truck comes by, the driver doesn't want to stop and
>everything up, to say nothing of all the material that has blown
>was just speaking with a resident who was calling about scavenging,
>she said "if the guy is so comfortable going through my recycling bin
>taking what he wants, maybe he'll be just as comfortable taking
>off my porch or going in my back yard."  Regardless of whether or not
>scavenging leads to other kinds of theft, the last thing I want is
>residents to feel they are endangering themselves by setting out
>recycling.  If it was just a matter of the City losing a bit of
>then the cost-benefit analysis of police response might work out so
>it really didn't make sense for the police to address scavenging. 

>issue is really disturbing the peace, littering, and people feeling
>in their homes -- issues that I think the police should be more
>about than they sometimes appear to be.
>Sharon Gates
>Recycling Specialist
>City of Long Beach, California
>"Wayne Turner" <WAYNET@no.address>
>07/03/2003 04:41 AM
>         To:     <greenyes@no.address>, <Sharon_Gates@no.address>
>         cc:
>         Subject:        Re: [greenyes] scavenging
>Sharon, et al.,
>Scavenging rises and falls with the markets for materials.  When OCC
>prices go south, the pickup trucks scavenging OCC disappear only to
>reappear magically overnight when prices rebound.  Likewise, UBC
>dictate how zealous the scavengers are.  Since UBC prices are
>steady, the scavenging is too.  The most aggravating thing about the
>scavenging is that it leaves the dregs for the municipality to
>and drives our cost per ton up.  It's a real catch 22.  I guess I
>be thankful that the material is being collected and sold on the open
>market and not subsidized by the city but we can't make instantaneous
>changes to our fleets and staffs to accommodate these sudden
>(snip, snip)

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485



Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02140 
Tel:  617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463


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