Scavengers in Avon Lake will need to register with the city and pay $15 for a permit to operate legally, and that permit will need to be displayed, according to a new ordinance.
City council approved legislation 5-2 on Jan. 28 with councilmen Dan Bucci and David Kos opposing the legislation. The issue with final legislation removing the need for a background check.
Scavengers, also referred to as "reclamation contractors," are often seen on Sunday nights in Avon Lake prior to the Monday trash pickup scouring through curbside trash. They will now need to register their vehicles with the city and display at least one sign, created by the city but at the scavenger's expense, while scavenging. The sign will include the scavengers permit number.
Previously, an expensive medical device, left on a driveway, was believed to have been taken by a scavenger.
Mayor Greg Zilka had recommended signs for scavenger’s trucks with a visible permit number on it.
Members of Avon Lake police will begin handing out applications to unregistred scavengers, which usually make the rounds of Avon Lake streets on Sunday night, ahead of Monday’s trash pickup. Individuals interested in obtaining a permit can contact City Hall at 440-933-6141.
Council President Martin O’Donnell stated earlier in the month he was concerned about people taking copper and other metal not meant for the trash, but said the initial legislation was workable.
“The initial legislation is good, we can always go back and take a look at it,” O’Donnell said of amending legislation down the road.
Zilka previously addressed the issue of scavengers going into garages and taking items, a concern raised by residents.
“We have laws against that; it’s called ‘theft’ Zilka said.
Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch said any resident who does not collect property from more than three properties in one week should be excluded. She initially favored background checks for scavengers seeking a license, the latter of which Councilman David Kos was opposed.
“What are we checking for?” Kos asked several weeks ago. “Felonies? Moving violations? What are we looking for?”
On Jan. 28, Zilka said the city a vehicle's license plate would be recorded with the registration in case of a problem.
Councilman Dan Bucci did not support the legislation
“We have so many items on our plate that are more important than this, we need to just move on,” Bucci said earlier in January. “The enforceability of this…I don’t know how you do it.”
Registered scavengers who violate the ordinance's rules may have their license revoked for three months. Ordinance violators can be charged with a minor misdemeanor.