In addition to detailing recent armed robberies, burglaries and drug arrests in the Mission in his weekly newsletter, Mission Station Captain Stephen Tacchini addressed the problem of recycling scavengers:
Over the past few weeks I have received complaints from residents in the district regarding noise, littering, and suspicious persons with pickup trucks, carts, and gargage bags related to the removal of recyclable goods from containers. Upon checking with representatives of Sunset Scavenger, I have come to learn this is a significant and costly problem city wide. Who suffers from the loss of this significant material? You--the neighborhood residents.Timely, because since a San Francisco Judge "ordered a dozen of the city's most prolific recycling scavengers to stop looting bottles, cans and cardboard from curbside bins" last month they seem to be out in stronger force.
The dumping of the recycle bins by unauthorized persons is evident by the debris, broken glass, liquid, and papers they leave on the street, creating a public safety hazard and exacerbated litter problem. This results in the Department of Public Works having to come out to clean up the mess, at a cost borne by taxpayers.
Officers from Mission Station will be working towards reducing the types of complaints related to this problem and assistance from the public will be very helpful. In the spirit of community policing I request citizens who observe persons removing recyclable goods from containers on the street, by other than Department of Public Works or Sunset Scavenger personnel to report their observations to SFRecycling.com. This will provide information as to where, when and by whom, using what type of vehicle this activity is being conducted. Your assistance will help us to identify the persons responsible and we can proceed from there to abate the associated problems neighborhoods are experiencing.
It is important to recycle and be as energy and environmentally efficient as possible. It is also important to maintain clean and safe streets while working towards reducing the amount of garbage going into land fills. Reducing the incidence of the theft of recyclable goods will result in fewer noise complaints, cleaner / safer streets, and potentially lower service charges.
[SFRecycling: Report Form]
[NVSF: Recycling Theft = $469,000]
[SFGate: Judge orders scavengers to stop raiding trash]