Local News

Raleigh outlaws stealing from recycling bins

Posted March 6, 2012

— The City Council on Tuesday approved a local ordinance to make stealing recyclable materials a crime in Raleigh.

Raleigh residents and businesses recycled 23,000 tons of material in the fiscal year that ended last June, generating about $690,000 for the city's general fund, officials said.

Thieves have been targeting clusters of recycling bins outside restaurants and bars in downtown Raleigh to grab aluminum cans and resell them, which officials say costs the city money.

Anyone caught breaking the new law faces a fine of up to $500.


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  • Havetosayit Mar 7, 2012

    The recycling program is paid for through fees + revenue from selling the profitable bits of the recyclables. The aluminum cans are effectively the only profitable portion of the recycling. If the recycling program loses this aluminum can revenue, you will be charged more. People who steal from recycling bins are really stealing from taxpayers.

  • piene2 Mar 7, 2012

    "If you think some people rolling around town in their trucks stealing your recyclables won't take the opportunity to try stealing your heat pump, gutters or other items than you're a fool.
    Chairman of the Bored"

    What surprises me, and, I guess proves how universally incompetent the cops are is that they do not realize that the theft of the heat pump or outdoor condenser is, in most cases, a federal offense carrying a huge fine, possible prison time and one of the few instances where someone turning in such thieves are eligible for a large reward. It is not the theft in it's self but the very serious violation of venting the refrigerant into the atmosphere. Anytime refrigeration equipment is dismantled the refrigerant must be recovered and that recovery must be done by someone that is certified to do so. The enforcing authority for this is the EPA and they do not fool around.This is covered under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act of 1990.

  • BP Mar 7, 2012

    The city attorney emailed me this. "The ordinance has a clear and specific exemption for the owner. It clearly states that once the material is placed in the bin only the city or the owner may remove it. If you gave permission for someone else to remove it I don’t think that would be a problem although it seems easier for you to just give it to them directly."

  • possumsoup Mar 7, 2012

    ok, let me get this Straight. The city charges me to pick up my recyclable's that I have to breakdown into plastic and cans etc and makes $690.000 a yr. Where is my cut. Any one who wants my for cash come get them. Sounds like the one stealing is the CITY!

  • Taxpayingcitizen Mar 7, 2012

    Next it will be copper and complete ac units... Anything to make a quick, tax free buck!

  • satisfactiondetailhomecleaning Mar 7, 2012

    Toooooooo much government!!!!

  • concerncitizen Mar 7, 2012

    This is ridiculous! When you decide to go into public service, you have to give up your brain? Question: Did anyone ask the police if they are willing to come issue a citation to children and the homeless?

  • jondzemo Mar 7, 2012

    My little 2 cents is... If someone is going around "dumpster diving" or in this case recycling bin diving. What is the real harm? To me it is obivious if these people are so desperate to do this they really need the $$$. At least they are trying to make a buck instead of getting a lot of tax payers monies from goverment handouts. But than the goverment needs all the money it can get for its useless social programs!

  • sunshineonmyshoulder Mar 7, 2012

    The town doesn't get a chance to make money off my aluminum cans, or anything for that matter, that will put a few quarters in my pocket. As a matter of fact we pick them up from parking lots and beside the street when we run across one. I guess there will be no more of that soon...

  • RomneyRyan2012 Mar 7, 2012

    A law to outlaw stealing? Is this serious? What am I missing here? I thought it was already against the law to steal.