“It may be an old story, but it is one that just yesterday reached a boiling point with me – recycling thieves. These thieves are making a huge mess and stealing from the city. Yesterday morning two bags of trash from my gray waste bin had been removed and put in the street by the thieves to make room for sorting the contents of my blue recycling bin. The end result was that feral cats had torn the bags of garbage open and strewn it all about. I had to spend 25 minutes cleaning the mess up before going to work. This is simply unacceptable.”
Red Phone: Dear Tired of Thieves, With the downturn in the economy, people are getting bolder in their garbage collecting efforts. But you are right; this is not a new problem. The Gilroy Police Department has responded to numerous calls in the past year of people stealing recyclable items, said Gilroy Police Officer Amanda Stanford.
While stealing recyclable items may seem innocent enough, it is still illegal.
The Gilroy Municipal Code (section 12.57) prohibits the unauthorized collection of trash, and people can be cited for an infraction, Stanford said.
“The recyclables belong to the home owner until they are brought to the curb,” she said. “At that point the recyclables belong to South Valley Recology. If the person crosses on to a private property to retrieve recyclables that are not curbside, they may be cited for trespassing as well.”
For added security, recycling centers in the state are required to pay by check for items with a redemption value more than $100 or newspapers more than $50.
To report recycling theft, call the police at 846-0350.