Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Even paper has street value

From the NY Post:

City sanitation cops are following a paper trail to bust a new breed of thieves.

Sly scrap bandits have taken to swiping bags of paper and cardboard left on curbs for the city’s Sanitation Department, following a dramatic rise in the value of the recyclable material, officials said.

Mixed paper has more than doubled in price over the past two years, going from around $40 a ton to as high as $120.

That huge price increase has been fueled by dwindling amounts of paper ending up in the recycling bin, as consumers switch to electronic forms of communication.

“When you approach this value, it becomes a market for unsavory characters,” said Hank Levin, whose Pratt Industries on Staten Island handles half the city’s curb-side paper pickup.

“[Thieves] can take a couple of tons off of the street in a night and get about $250.”

Cops with the city’s Department of Sanitation this year have already impounded 49 vehicles — mostly vans and small, rented moving trucks — for allegedly being used to pilfer bags of mixed paper off the streets.

That’s up from last year, when only 40 vehicles were impounded for similar crimes over 12 months.


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile it probably costs DoS $5,000 to collect that $250 worth of paper.

Anonymous said...

What about the homeless and elderly bottle collectors? Can we please crack down on them as well?

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget,
we're living in The Great Recession.

Soon, dog shit will have a value.

Can you envision DOT
setting up a poop patrol division?


So if the elderly supplement their meager incomes with bottle collecting...what's the harm in it?

I bag my deposit bottles separately to make it easier for bottle collectors.

This way they don't
mess up my trash.

If NYC would only collect
all the fines owed them...
from deadbeat landlords, developers, etc. then they wouldn't need this kind of chump change.

Anonymous said...

I still fail to see the downside of the freemarket system in scrap removal. Let the city bureaucrats compete for their bread just like the charter schools do to DOE. Get the tax collectors off our backs!

Anonymous said...

I saw this in progress years ago on the upper east side. Different vans with out of state plates driven by what looked like African immigrants picking thorough the paper recyclables.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the NYPD bust more drug dealers than the DOT waste my tax money arresting garbage pickers.

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand calling them "theives" - it's freaking garbage that the "owner" put outside on the curb, not some heirloom silverware. Who cares if some person takes your trash as long as they don't make a freaking mess?