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Crackdown on Scavengers

October 29, 1995

* So the City of Los Angeles, hard-pressed for cash, has voted to waste 600,000 precious dollars to pay cops overtime to catch newspaper recycling scavengers (Oct. 18). Doesn't the council realize that there's a better way, one that would cost nothing and generate income? Let the scavengers continue. Then have the firms that buy the scavenged materials merely deduct 15% from what they pay the scavengers, and remit this to the city. Is this idea too logical for our city fathers? And have they also failed to realize that by permitting the scavengers to continue they are given honest income and don't have to turn to crime?

OLIVER BERLINER

Los Angeles

* Bravo to the City Council for figuring out a way to raise money for police to catch recycling thieves with no additional cost to taxpayers. As a homeowner who spends the time to sort, bundle and organize recyclable trash, it has been irritating to know that the city has been losing thousands of dollars in revenue to these petty thieves. People should not penalize the city because of this and say, "I won't bother taking the time to recycle because someone else is going to make the money," but rather work together to find viable solutions.

Two recommendations are first, wait until the morning of your pickup to put out your papers next to the bins, as most thievery takes place at night, and second, have the city start the recycling trucks at at a later time in the morning so people who do this don't miss their pickup. The only downside I see is later work hours for the recycling trucks.

This is one problem for which a solution can be found by working together. It is inevitable that within a few years recycling will be mandatory, so we might as well get used tothe rules of the game today.

NEAL LEVITON

Sherman Oaks

* Incredible! The City Council is now bickering over trash. The discards put at curbside by residents become the clothes, the toys, the food put on the table of another. These people are only trying the best they know how to make a meager living to support their families.

Is it necessary for Laura Chick and other council members to oppress the poor and those trying to stay off welfare by hawking fear that they may be "casing" the neighborhood, or worse yet insinuating that the guy in the beat-up truck is making the "real money"? Come on, don't you have better things to do than persecuting those trying to make a few dollars? To spend $600,000 for police patrols to protect "trash" is absurd!

KATHRYN FOX

Northridge

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