by Chris Jones

C.W. "Phone It In" Nevius is complaining about one of his favorite topics in today's Chronicle: "recycling rustlers." How many columns can one guy write about industrious homeless people prying discarded fine recyclables out of neighborhood blue bins? Why is it such an issue for people in this city? Personally, this writer is grateful for the rag picking variety of the underclass. Whenever some random hipster is forced to evacuate a unit in his building, thus dumping boxes of irony rich clothing, books, and assorted tschokes on the sidewalk, the shopping cart set can always be counted on to fetch the lot of it before sundown. No fuss, no muss. These people provide a valuable service to the community!

Well, apparently it's not just the homeless who are rifling through city resident's discarded Fiji water bottles. No, reportedly there are crews of shady looking thugs out there, operating fleets of trucks, literally ripping the half empty Evian bottles out of the hands of little old ladies all over town! This has been a problem for years! The police department has even been given extra funding to pay for the overtime necessary to catch these tin can hooligans and has impounded an impressive 59 vehicles and issued 157 citations. Good job, boys in blue! Sunset Scavengers estimates that there are between 200 to 300 recycling poacher trucks operating in the city at any given time and as of July of last year, the city had lost about a million dollars in profits in the prior two years to these miscreants. A million American dollars?! That's like a quarter of Nat Ford's salary! Or an eighth of the price of a Tenderloin condo! Quick, get 'em!

This writer is loathe to see what's going to happen to our fine compostables once mandatory composting for all city residents kicks in this fall. Yech.