Avon Lake Scavengers Will Need Licenses

City proposing $15 fee for a license.

After several homeowners expressed concern over safety and having items accidentally removed from homes by scavengers, the city is hoping to approve legislation that will require scavengers to be licensed.

“The concept wasn’t to remove the scavengers…but wanted to take into effect concerns,” City Council President Martin O’Donnell said.

The legislation is based off of Fairview Park’s legislation. The city is suggesting the cost of a license be $15 per year, an amount O’Donnell said was reasonable and not prohibitive.

O’Donnell said residents approached council last year concerned that scavengers were taken items not meant for the trash, were leaving trash in disarray and were turning concerning residents that scavenger trucks appeared to be “casing” neighborhoods.

In March, an Avon Lake man's breathing machine was taken off his driveway, with police believing it may have been accidentally taken by scavengers.

Law Director Abe Lieberman said the legislation allows for a time to be determined as to what times of day scavenging will be permitted.

Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch wanted a magnetic sign the sides of each licensed vehicle with "Registered Recycler" and a phone number so an individual can contact the scavenger if an item were mistakenly taken.

Legislation, which specifies unlicensed scavengers could be charged with a minor misdemeanor, will be reviewed at three public meeting before a vote is taken.

Avon Lake's trash collection is on Monday.

Shelly December 06, 2012 at 12:32 PM
It is scary seeing these strangers out there. And they are ruthless!
Jim Strang December 06, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Seems like every time Avon Lake Council gets together, its deliberations make me happier that I live south of the tracks. It pretzels itself into a mobius strip to placate the Bambiphiles, and now sets out to force scavengers to become licensed simply to remove cast-off items. What's next? A requirement for a Master's degree in refuse-sorting to obtain the city's blessing for one of civilization's oldest activities? Have your coffers become so low, your enforcement personnel so under-occupied, your cottages so overrun with rattletrap pick-up trucks that you must now send your swarms of officers to harass those who make so bold as to eke out a pittance from another's discards? Doesn't it cross your minds that you just might be adding a layer or two of governance that approaches bullying the less well-off? Would you have demanded of Ruth a license to glean the fields of Boaz? Yeah, come to think of it, you probably would.
Jan Y. December 06, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I don't see how forcing a possibly needy person to pay a registration fee will help them to identify items being discarded? We have never had a problem and left things out in our driveway for 25 years. Actually, many have stopped and expressed appreciation.
Kristen LePrevost December 06, 2012 at 01:37 PM
The ones i've spoken to aren't needy..my only issue with them is they fly around the streets looking at the lawns and not the road...makes me nervous with so many kids around...they've run over balls before that have gone into the road.
Jan Y. December 06, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Good point Kristen, but requiring licensing won't help prevent this.
Isabella December 06, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Will this include the mailman in my neighborhood that I have seen him throw stuff in the back of his mail truck? I really don't have an issue with the scrapper's, I do agree with Kristen, its worrisome when they are paying more attention to the trash then the people & traffic around them. One mans junk is another mans treasure - right?
Tanya December 06, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Our neighbor went in the house for something to drink part way through mowing his lawn and they took his lawn mower right out of his yard!! Also stole another neighbors children's bikes out of their driveway!! Yes, we need legislation to control their actions. I don't care if they take discarded items, but don't rummage through our garbage and leave it in a scattered mess when you're done. This is long overdue!!
Jeff December 06, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Be careful what you ask for Avon Lake! Unless you are prepared to finance, and operate a 'trash' collection police force to continually patrol areas of collection each day/night, this legislation does nothing to address home owner concerns other than making a perfectly innocent process..illegal to many. And it's an additional (abliet minor) loss of your freedom. Never again can a neighbor, city resident, or even someone in the business remove your undesired objects for reuse without fear of arrest and fine, or having to, in advance, register with the city. And seriously...is this really enough of an issue to surrender your freedom to the city?
Jan Y. December 06, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Right on Jeff!
Jeff December 06, 2012 at 03:41 PM
How will this change, or be prevented with this new legislation? Is this $15 fee going to fund a full-time police force to patrol, and arrest those involved? Sounds like you have a local thief...and you already fund a police force to handle those issues.
Jeff December 06, 2012 at 04:14 PM
"these strangers"? "Ruthless"? Really? Shelly...I'm not going to characterize my thoughts about your word usage here, however, I would suggest that you might need to get outside your boundaries, and really interact with more people. My personal experience is that most people are really nice, caring, and generous.
George Z December 06, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Council views this as a top problem? Worry about new companies moving to our city. The scrappers are not a problem. I separate my "metal" items fairly obviously for them and have have had no problems.
Laurie December 06, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I think council should be more worried about bringing new business to our area, our tax rates not conducive to bringing in new residents/businesses, etc than scavengers. Leave it to gov't to add another layer of BS to people trying to make a buck.
Jim Strang December 06, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I think flying around the streets, the attendant reckless operation and even balls in the road may already be covered in extant city traffic ordinances. A call or two to the police chief might get you some attention on trash days, if that's a perceived problem.
Shelly December 06, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Jeff you must have lots of money and a Gardner and maid and of course no children to feel this way.
Anna December 06, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Is this the least of our problems?? Geez! There are already laws about stealing things. If the lawn mover, breathing machine, and bikes were stolen from someone's front lawn or driveway, CALL THE POLICE. This is a waste of time and energy - put your time and energy to better use, city council.
Jim Brady December 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Dumbest idea our council has had in years. If my neighbor puts out a shelf I can use in my basement, do I have to go pay $15.00 first? Way to over-react to one incident. Heck, I have had many of the scrappers come up to my garage and help me move stuff out to their vehicles. Most are just trying to make a buck in a lousy economy.
Leo December 06, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I am so glad Jim, Jeff and who ever else has never had a problem with scrappers. To bad many more have. Also dont try to make them all out to be noble recyclers, some are, and thats great on them, but i seem to talk to more that just do it for extra money, and its easier than getting a second job, or a real job and they dont have to pay taxes on the income. Again, more power to them if thats what it takes to make ends meet, but dont try to dress it up as something its not. I have had issues with scrappers circling my block when i get rid of broken equipment, or clean out the garage. they clog up the road, and i feel bad for my neighbors that have to ask people to move, or cant go anywhere, and yes it has happened three times. I should not have to wait until the cover of dark to throw things out.
Bill Conners December 06, 2012 at 10:40 PM
I have never had a problem with them i have spoken with some and they are quite nice. I am working stiff like anyone else and we have a pretty nice home for which we do all the work on. But if i were to leave my aluminum ladder in yard and someone took it you bet i would be PO'd! How about this idea let's have a quarterly scrapping drive with some big dumpsters at city hall. Bring your metal and throw it in and have it hauled away and the city donate the money to united way or salvation army?
Patch reader December 06, 2012 at 10:42 PM
I would never consider going onto someone else's property and taking ANY items if I didn't ask first. Why do other people think this is ok? Foreclosed houses are being broken into in many cities. Thieves are stealing copper pipes, etc. People shouldn't have to explain why they don't want strangers on their property. I was driving through a nearby city and saw a nice armoire sitting on a lawn the day before garbage pick up. Even though it was on the city side of the sidewalk, I went up to the house and knocked on the door to ask if the owners were parting with it. They said 'yes' and thanked me for asking. The husband was kind enough to come out and help me put it into my truck. If the item in question is in someone's YARD. Leave it the hell alone. If I see you in my yard poking around you can explain what you are doing to the police. And hope you don't have a big fat headache to go along with it while your doing this....
Elisa December 06, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Seriously, doesnt city council have better things to do than overlegislate a (relatively) small problem? We see these guys drive around every Sunday night to collect stuff on their truck, and I am happy to do my part in the recycling process. WHICH REMINDS ME - why doesn't Council figure out a way to offer recycling of cardboard, etc. for city residents? Our neighbors in BV not only have been recycling these materials for years in a city facility, but now get cardboard collected curbside every week along with garbage. Shame on Avon Lake for not being more progressive.


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