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Garbage Maven: Tips to deter recycling scavengers

February 2, 2011 |  1:23 pm

LockingrecyclingbinA lot of people are angry about scavengers -- people plucking all the high-value recyclables from their bins. Never mind that blue bin scavenging is illegal in L.A., punishable with a $500 fine and/or six months in jail.

While the city is currently monitoring other municipalities' anti-scavenging programs to see if a safe, workable and cost-effective solution can be implemented, the Department of Public Works offers the following tips:

1.  Keep the blue recycling bin in the garage or other secure area on non-collection days.

2.  Wait until the morning of collection day to put the blue bin at the curb.

3.  Place glass and aluminum recyclables at the bottom of the bin, underneath paper and cardboard.

4.  Do not confront individual scavengers. Instead, observe and report scavengers to the Bureau of Street Services Investigation & Enforcement by dialing 3-1-1.

5.  Do not confront scavenging crews. Instead, observe and report crews with large trucks and/or vehicles to the neighborhood's LAPD senior lead officers.

6.  Work with the local Neighborhood Council and/or councilmember's district office in consultation with the neighborhood's LAPD senior lead officers.

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Locking recycling bin in Santa Ana. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times