Hello there, Red Phone. Firstly, I’m fairly new to the area and
have become a fan of your column. I look forward to reading it and
seeing what kind of tips you give out and advice you offer about
everyday problems. Sometimes you’re really sarcastic to people, and
it’s funny. But you always seem to make it a point to answer
questions in the mix.
“Hello there, Red Phone. Firstly, I’m fairly new to the area and have become a fan of your column. I look forward to reading it and seeing what kind of tips you give out and advice you offer about everyday problems. Sometimes you’re really sarcastic to people, and it’s funny. But you always seem to make it a point to answer questions in the mix.
“My problem is this: Like I said, we’re kind of new to Gilroy and something we’ve noticed is that on trash day, when my garbage and those blue containers with my recyclables are out on the curb, there are people that come by in the night and go through them. The first time it happened, we were sitting and heard bottles and cans crashing. My husband said, ‘What is that?’ He looked out the window, and sure enough, there was a man sorting through the containers with a big plastic bag. Since then, it has happened just about every single week. I’d prefer it if this didn’t happen, but if somebody really needs those bottles and cans to make money, fine. But please, don’t do it at 10 or 11 at night and make a racket. Can you tell me what the garbage company says about this? Or are there any city laws that relate to this issue? Are we the only ones who are a little irritated? Thanks, Red Phone and keep up the good work.”
Welcome to Gilroy, caller. Rest assured, you’re not the only one who has had issues with those who go through recyclables, as the Red Phone has dealt with this problem before. In fact, it was so inundated with calls on this at one time that the Dispatch ran an article addressing it.
What the reporter found was this: There is indeed a city ordinance that prohibits anyone except South Valley Disposal and Recycling, who city residents pay, to collect the contents of curbside trash and recycling bins. Anyone who does is committing theft.
Specifically, Gilroy Municipal Code Sec. 12.57 states that once recyclable materials are placed at the curbside or other designated collection location in a designated recycling container, the materials “shall be and become the property of the authorized recycling agent.”
City Administrator Jay Baksa said scavengers create higher rates for the customers.
“Once it’s out on the curb, it belongs to South Valley because all of the revenue South Valley receives goes back into that program to reduce the rates for us customers,” Baksa said.
South Valley General Manager Phil Couchee said residents should contact police if they see someone picking up their recycling.
The unauthorized collection generally happens before trucks make their rounds, but, “We’re not able to do collections before 6 in the morning due to sound ordinances,” Couchee said.
For those who go through others’ recyclables, take note: The infraction will cost you a $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense in a one-year period.
Search for the article, “City recycling thefts on the rise” online at www.gilroydispatch.com.
“I just wanted to tell you about my delivery. I woke up this morning and received my newspaper on the front lawn and it’s completely wet. My sprinklers came on after it was thrown and got it all wet. This is the first time it happened so I’m guessing there was a new driver or something. But shouldn’t the drivers always throw the paper in the drive anyway? Thanks.”
You didn’t leave your name or number, caller, so should the person miss the driveway in the future, and should the sprinklers spray your daily news, feel free to call the circulation department at 842-2327 and they will be more than happy to deliver you a dry Dispatch.