MANCHESTER, N.H. — City officials want to put recyclers out of business.
Not Pinard Waste, the recycling company that picks up old newspapers and empty bottles, aluminum cans and plastic containers on the curbside.
Rather, the city is taking aim at scavengers — the people who comb through recycling containers on trash day, ahead of the recycling truck.
The city has drafted an anti-scavenging ordinance that would make it a violation of city ordinances to “scavenge, search or remove” from a container any recyclable material placed on a city street, alley, right-of-way or other public property.
Because it is an ordinance, violators could not be jailed for breaking it. But they could be fined.
The city’s Solid Waste Committee backed the ordinance Monday, and it will eventually go to Manchester aldermen for adoption.
City Public Works Director Kevin Sheppard said Pinard Waste, the company that collects recyclables, has requested the ordinance.
The company pays the city a set amount every year to collect recyclables.
The company then sells the recyclables and pockets the proceeds.
“He owns the recyclables once he collects them. It’s important to him,” Sheppard said. The bottom line, he said, is the city wants to stick by its contractors.
Several aldermen questioned the ordinance. Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long said he hears that some scavengers leave a mess, but he hasn’t seen it. He also questions if the ordinance is enforceable.
“It’s on the books in case something drastically happens,” said at-large Alderman Mike Lopez.
Alderman Phil Greazzo had the committee remove a provision that prohibited scavengers from going through and taking solid waste, such as clothing and household garbage. That’s because the city has to pay by the ton to dispose of solid waste.
“Folks going through solid waste help us,” he said.
(c)2011 The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.)
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