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Scavengers Will Need Permits in Avon Lake

New law means $15 permit must be obtained

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.

Brad Hutcherson January 31, 2013 at 02:43 PM
I frequently put good thing that I no longer want or need out early so "scrapple" can take them. My only issue is when they make a mess of my trash just to get the scrap value and leave the front lawn in shambles. This is not a bad idea to identify trouble makers and continual mess makers
Kristen LePrevost January 31, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I have no issue with these guys other than two concerns..they speed around the neighborhoods where kids are running around often and in the western suburbs in general we've had a lot of home break ins so if this disuades folks that are "casing" the neighborhoods then it's worth it...someone with good intentions will have no problem pay for a license if this is a way the make money.
Candace Ashton January 31, 2013 at 04:28 PM
I agree with Kathleen and Lisa. This legislation has been and will continue to be a ridiculous waste of time and energy. I'm always happy when someone removes something from my trash pile. If someone is speeding through the neighborhood, call the police. If someone is stealing from your garage, close your garage door. Don't leave anything on the treelawn that you want to keep. Seems so simple.
Laurie January 31, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Seriously, City Council? Do you have nothing better to do than to vote on this drivel? I agree with many on this board that these guys perform a service. No reason to slap them with a fee. Why not worry about bringing business into town instead of chasing windmills, culling deer and hitting scavengers with ridiculous fees? Let me guess - you are going to want a new police officer to monitor these guys and tax the heck out of me for it. Please find something better to do with your time.
Kip Sekulic February 02, 2013 at 01:15 AM
I have never been bothered by the folks who pick up stuff I put out on Sunday. Better to put something to use rather than in the land fill. The small amount of money that is made by reclaimers is now less because of the fee for the permit. "I wonder if I spy a storm door window for my broken one - Will I be charged with a minor misdeamer?" Will a person's driver's "license be revoked for 3 months?" What a waste of legislation & a policeman's time!

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