Garden Grove

Education on scavenging is favored

SCAVENGERS are often looking for recyclables such as aluminum cans.

Education more than enforcement may be the way to go in battling the problem of scavengers taking recyclables from curbside refuse bins.

That seemed to be the consensus at Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council. Councilman Kris Beard (District 1) originally brought the matter up before the council at the Nov. 14 meeting and the discussion continued on Tuesday.

“I don’t like people going through my trash,” said Beard. “It’s a disservice to the city and its citizens.”

There’s a financial impact as well. The company with the contract to pick up trash and recyclables sells them to help defray the cost of the collections.

But just how to combat the problem? Scavenging is against the law in Garden Grove, the council was told, but enforcement is a challenge. Currently, the offense is a misdemeanor, but if the citing officer doesn’t appear in court, the citation is dismissed.

Changing the charge to an infraction makes it an administrative matter with no possible jail penalty. Violators would be assessed a fine.

“I’m OK with the infraction,” said Beard, and wanted thieves and residents to know “it’s a crime and there are penalties for it.”

Councilman John O’Neill (District 2) suggested that a good way to defeat scavengers, who sell aluminum cans and plastic bottles they get from your bins, is to wait until the morning of collection to put the green receptacle out.

Also discussed was putting information about the issue on the city’s website as well as in the regular mailings of water bills.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council gave its final approval to an ordinance regulating businesses in the civic center mixed-use area concerning entertainment uses and the sale of alcohol.

The next council meeting will be held on Dec. 12.


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