FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION INCREASING PENALTIES FOR RECYCLING THEFT
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
“The first bill before me today is Introductory Number 582-A, sponsored by Council Members McMahon, Fidler, Gennaro, Gentile, Liu, Mealy, Recchia, Weprin, Nelson, Jackson, Lappin and Felder. This bill increases penalties for those who use a vehicle to unlawfully remove or transport recyclables intended for pickup by the Department of Sanitation or a licensed hauler.
“Department of Sanitation enforcement personnel too often witness individuals using vehicles to unlawfully remove valuable recyclables that residents and building owners place at the curb for collection, with collection rates falling by as much as 25% in some parts of the City. Currently, the fine for removing recycling material carries a maximum fine of $100. This small civil penalty has not deterred the efforts of those wishing to take recyclables for their own financial gain. While the theft of recyclables may seem like a harmless offense, this activity seriously damages the City’s recycling program and prevents the City from meeting our obligation to collect and deliver a minimum amount of recyclable material to our recycling vendors under existing contracts – targets that if not met will result in financial penalties.
“Introductory Number 582–A increases the penalty for unlawfully removing or transporting recyclables from $100 to $2,000 for a first time offender, and $5,000 for repeat offenders. The legislation also authorizes the Department of Sanitation to impound vehicles used by persons violating the law, and empowers the Department to arrest individuals caught unlawfully removing recyclables from the residential curb, as well as individuals who unlawfully receive stolen recyclables.
“These increased penalties will help ensure that the Department of Sanitation is able to maximize the amount of recyclable materials it collects and fulfill its goals under the City’s landmark long-term Solid Waste Management Plan.
“I would like to thank Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty and Business Integrity Commission Chair Mike Mansfield and their staff for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation.”
Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly (212) 788-2958