Today, Friday, is recycling day in my small City. We utilize a single stream collection system. Which means that all our recycling, paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, cans, etc. is put into one large bucket. Then the City utilizes an automatic pick up truck system that grabs the bucket and dumps it into the truck (which looks like the below image from another city).
The recycling program doesn't cost anything to the City, or the tax-payors, because the recycling program pays for itself by recycling and selling off the higher value recyclables. In fact, there has been some discussion about a program in which the City will start tracking the weight of each household's recycling and eventually provide rebates (that will go to cover cost of waste removal) based on higher levels of recycling.
As you know, we live in South Florida. South Florida has a large immigrant population (both legal and illegal). I have general objection to the Federal government not enforcing our immigration laws and the fact that the illegal immigrant population strains our tax funded resources. However, on a personal level, I generally have no problem with the illegal immigrants that make their home in our City. Most of these folks are hard working, family orientated, peaceful folks who are doing their best to make a better life for themselves and their children.
But, every Friday I see, without fail, a group of immigrant women who goes around and collects the cans from the recycling buckets. As far as I'm concerned this activity is theft from the City and from the citizens, because it is undermining our recycling program. On the other hand, I'm sure these folks probably don't see any harm in their efforts since what they are stealing from is trash. Some municipalities have criminalized recycling theft or scavenging but I can't find that our City has done so. As such, if there is no ordinance against the activity I'm not sure anything can be done at this point.
At this point, I'm thinking about reaching out to my local commissioner, what would you do?