We have been devout recyclers for years, even before we had curbside pickup by the city. We put our papers in the green bin and our bottles and aluminum cans in the blue bin. We keep the bins in the garage and put them out curbside on Wednesday mornings. We’ve been doing it faithfully for years. The price of the recycling pickup is incorporated into our trash bill.
Yesterday morning our bins were out by the road waiting to be emptied whenever the recycling truck arrived. I just happened to be looking out the window when a guy in a dark blue pickup truck drove up, got out and emptied the contents of our blue bin in the back of his pickup truck. I’m thinking, WTF? He proceeded to take the cans from every neighbor’s recycle bin on my block.
I called the recycling place to see if the guy in the blue truck could do what he did legally. The lady there told me that he can. Then she told me to check with the local police dept. The police dept. affirmed what she said. Seems once the bins are curbside (where they have to be for the regular pick up) anything in them is public property and free to anyone who wants it.
Okay, here’s my problem. Even though the guy who took the recyclables will probably sell them and hopefully they really will be recycled, why the hell should I put them out there for his benefit? I would rather the city receive the benefits and use that money for the betterment of the city itself.
Let me also explain that the blue truck was not some junker truck, it looked to be brand new. This wasn’t some poor soul who needs money to feed his family or something. This was an opportunist of the highest degree.
So now I’m in a quandary. I want to recycle my bottles and cans, but I sure as hell don’t want to go to the trouble of washing out cans and bottles and putting them out in a neat little bin so that some jerk can drive up, take them and make some extra money on the side. Sadly we no longer have places where you can take your recyclables and deposit them.
My argument is, these bins are provided to us by the company that picks up the recyclables and I believe anything contained in these bins would be the sole property of that company. I understand that when I place items in my garbage can and place it curbside, I am relinquishing all possession of these items to the garbage dump or to anyone who wishes to delve into the cans, but I do not believe this applies to the recyclable items in the bins.