Changing face of trash diggers

Dear Editor:In reading the Editor's Note for the letter regarding trash diggers (Letters to the Editor, 8/12/10), I would like to inform your readers that twice I have contacted the Downey Police Department to report raiders, but was told nothing could be done about it after the person has left the area. I provided license numbers and descriptions, but was told nothing could be done unless they were caught in the act. Very unlikely since police cannot arrive before the raiders continue on their way. Trash-digging has become a regular practice, and I don't see the same persons twice. Competition is great; many small tucks have outdone the small plastic bag-picker on foot or bicycles. I have seen everything from business-marked "scrap trucks" to individuals in their own vehicles. Once, two young women in an SUV parked and canvassed our neighborhood north of Firestone Boulevard. One man in a van threatened me when I told him "that's illegal." He said if I did anything about it, he "knew where I lived." They raid from the evening before pickup to the early hours of the next day, and later. Often two or three different vehicles pass through the same area in one day. I have tried to put the blue barrel out as late as possible, but pickup is often late in the afternoon. I don't mind helping out someone who is destitute, but most diggers I see nowadays are "pros." The "little guy" is no longer the raider I see. Must be the economy. I was once told that the recycle barrel helps keep our trash pickup costs down, so I suppose this lost business is going to eventually cause an increase in our rates. Then, I guess I might have to start selling my own trash! -- William Rios, Downey

********** Published: August 19, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 18