Prevent Recyclables Theft
There’s a type of thievery going on in Port Hueneme that many residents and business people may not recognize – a type of organized crime that has the potential to increase costs for all of us. It’s the theft of recyclable materials, and it’s happening every week right under our noses.
Is taking recyclables really against the law?
Yes! Removing recyclables from someone else’s container (City/public containers, residential, or commercial) is called “scavenging” and violates both the Port Hueneme Municipal Code (Section 7240 & 7243) and the California Public Resources Code (Section 41950-41956).
Recyclable materials at your business or home belong to you. There are two choices for proper disposal; you may choose to take your cans and bottles to a recycling buyback center, where you are paid the California Redemption Value (CRV); or, you may choose to place your recyclables in your residential or commercial recycling bin for the City’s Solid Waste Division to pick up. Once the materials are in a container only you or the City of Port Hueneme have the right to remove them. This law applies to both trash and recycling containers!
Like any criminal, scavengers target the most valuable products – in the case of recyclables, that means aluminum and glass. We are not talking about people occasionally taking a few cans here or there – we are talking about organized thieves with trucks, driving the City’s collection routes a few hours ahead of authorized crews or stealing from commercial or residential bins at night. These people are stealing from the City, and ultimately from you!
How does this cost you money?
The City of Port Hueneme Solid Waste Division processes and sells the recyclable materials, to offset the cost of the services we provide our community. Over time, the lost revenues may result in higher rates for refuse collection.
What can we do?
The Port Hueneme Police Department will be stepping up our efforts to catch these thieves, and we need your help!
If you see anyone other than a uniformed City of Port Hueneme driver in a City truck handling your containers, please don’t ignore it. Instead, call police dispatch at (805) 986-6538 to report in-progress theft of recyclables. If possible, jot down the license plate number and a brief description of the vehicle/suspect or take photos or video to share with the Police Department. For your own safety, please DO NOT confront or challenge the scavenger yourself.
Don’t look the other way. Theft of recyclables is illegal and together we can send a message to thieves that in our community, this act will not be tolerated!
If you see a thief in action, call the Police Department dispatch at (805) 986-6538.
If the theft is not currently in progress, please report the incident here with as much information as possible so the incident may be investigated.