From the NY Post:
The city Department of Sanitation’s police force has beefed up neighborhood patrols to combat the theft of valuable recyclable scrap metal carted to the curb.
“It’s a continuing problem, one that the department is very aggressively trying to combat,” said Vito Turso, a spokesman for the Sanitation Department, noting that old ovens, refrigerators and air-conditioning units command high prices at scrap yards these days.
Last year, a whopping 46 percent of the appliances put out for recycling were not at the location at the time of pickup — apparently taken by roving scrap-metal thieves.
That’s a jump from 36 percent the previous year. So far, for 2012, the rate is at 43 percent, or roughly 11,000 missed pickups.
The city has a contract with Sims Metal Management to recycle the scrap — and the city gets a cut of Sims’ action in return.
Sims has estimated it loses up to $4 million a year from the thievery, meaning city coffers are getting hit hard, too.