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Recycled Garbage Collection and the Law

July 26th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Crime and Punishment, General, Politics

American soda
So, as I alluded to in my Tweet the other day, I had a conversation with Harvey Buek regarding a recent encounter I had.  About three weeks ago, I took my trash and recyclables to my curb on a Friday morning.  I noticed a man across the street digging through my neighbors recycle bin and removing various metal cans.

I found this odd but didn’t think much of it.  I went inside, mentioned it to my wife and she just looked at me with her normal discontent.  A few days later, I read this article on a man who was fined $4,000 for picking up an old air conditioner that was left out in the trash.  So, I put a call into Harvey and asked him the Borough’s policy on removing goods from the recycling bins.

Harvey was clear and concise on the ordinance that states the recycled goods belong to the Borough.  The Borough earns income on the metal objects that are recycled and when this person removed the metal from the bins, they are stealing from the Borough.  The metal goods offset the cost of normal garbage collection and the additional cost of single-stream recycling.  So, when someone removes the metal goods from our bins, the potential for the costs of waste collection increases to Borough residents.

So, Harvey asked me to keep an eye out for this guy again, asking me to write down the license plate number and calling him or Conshohocken Police if it happens again.  I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know that if you see someone not affiliated with the Borough removing goods from the recycling bin, call the police or public works.

Here is the ordinance:
[Ord. 4-2008, 8/20/2008]

All recyclable materials placed by persons for collection by the Borough or an authorized collector pursuant to this Part 2 shall, from the time of placement on the curb, become the property of the Borough or the authorized collector, except as otherwise provided for in § 20-207. Nothing shall be deemed to impair the ownership of recyclable materials by the generator unless or until such materials are placed at the curbside for collection.

On a side note, did you know all of Conshohocken’s Ordinances are available online?

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Kevin

    Sounds Unconstitutional to me. Dumpster diving has been protected by a decision of the Supreme Court (1988).

  • sammy

    Anyone who calls the police after seeing someone take something they can use, from a pile of trash, needs to get a life! I would think the police have more important things to attend to!

  • Recycler

    I get annoyed at my neighbors who have no less than 15 recycling bins, but have never recycled a single bottle or can. Is there anything that can be done about that?

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