- Dec 17
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Have you seen strangers rummaging through your recycling cart? They are usually looking for valuable CRV materials, like soda cans and water bottles. They are stealing.
REMOVING RECYCLABLES FROM RECYCLING CARTS IS STEALING
“Recyclables placed at the curb shall become the property of the city or the city’s authorized recyclables collector at the time of the placement at the curb. Recyclables placed inside of commercial containers shall become the property of city-authorized waste collector at the time they are placed in the container.” (Davis Municipal Code 32.01.060)
REMOVING RECYCLABLES FROM THE TRASH IS ALSO STEALING
“Garbage and other containerized solid wastes shall remain the property of the generator until the material is removed from the container by the city or the city’s authorized collector.” (Davis Municipal Code 32.01.060)
In January 2014, the Davis City Council adopted an ordinance to update the City Municipal Code regarding scavenging. See the Scavenging Ordinance FAQs for more information.
The problem isn’t just here in Davis. It’s an issue throughout California, which is why Assembly Bill (AB) 1778 was passed. AB 1778 requires scrap yards that buy $100 or more of CRV bottles and cans or $50 or more of newsprint, to document transactions and to pay for these materials by check. AB 1778 is designed to reduce organized recycling theft in California.
Locally, scavenging recyclables is a violation of Davis Municipal Code Section 32.01.060. Violators may be prosecuted and are subject to a fine.
Scavengers are not only stealing from Davis Waste Removal, they’re stealing from the residents and business owners of Davis, because the revenue generated from the sale of recyclables goes directly back to the rate payers in the form of lower service rates. Recycling service is provided at no extra cost to Davis ratepayers because the revenue from the recyclables subsidizes the cost for the collection. When scavengers steal the recycling, however, they remove that revenue and cut the funding to the recycling program.
So the next time you see someone scavenging through a recycling cart or bin, remember that it is a crime and you can do something about it.
SEE IT, HEAR IT, REPORT IT!
If you see someone removing recyclables from a cart or bin, get the license plate number of the vehicle and a detailed description of the individual, take a picture, if you can and it is safe to do so (send the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org), and call the non-emergency police number (747-5400) to report the crime. Starting on Feb 27, 2014, recycling theft will be an infraction with fines up to $500 ($100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $500 for the third and any subsequent offenses).
Help us prevent recycling theft
- Bring your recycling carts out to the curb the morning of your scheduled pick-up instead of the night before.
- Remove all CRV containers from your recycling bin. Bring them to a recycling center to redeem the CRV or drop them off at Davis Waste Removal for recycling 24 hours a day (2727 2nd Street).
Download a No Scavenging Sign.