Better recycling bylaw enforcement needed

Recycling 'scavengers' cause problems

Re: Blue Box program heads for shake-up (News, June 15) and Recycling changes a welcome move (Our View, June 15)

There is another aspect of the program which has not yet been covered: there is rampant stealing of materials from the Blue Boxes. On each day when the recycling is to be collected in any neighbourhood, scavengers are on the streets, rifling through the blue boxes and loading up on items which can be sold for cash at places like the bottle depot. As per a CRD bylaw, this is theft from the recycling program. The CRD website states that the program is funded through the sale of recyclables. The same website asks people to report scavengers, but when this is done, little is seen as a result. We’ll all be paying more for the blue box program if they can’t make enough from the recyclable materials to cover their costs.

Another issue is the mess the scavengers leave behind after they rifle through the blue boxes or bags. Often one has to collect all the material they scattered around in their hunt for saleable items.

There is a very simple solution to catching these people in the act: police and/or CRD by-law officers just need to be in whatever area of the city is having the recycling pick-up that day. There are at least a dozen who frequent my neighbourhood on the appointed day – they have a pick-up schedule, just like the actual recycling trucks! They are out early, and get there before the truck does.

Roel Hurkens

Victoria

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