Auburn police on lookout for cleanup dumpers, pickers

AUBURN — Police will be watching for junk-laden cars in May, trying to catch out-of-town people leaving trash curbside and people who pick through the piles before city crews can get to them.

"We're not trying to be difficult, but we are trying to be watchful of taxpayer dollars," City Manager Glenn Aho said. "We want to make sure that the people who are getting the service are actually the ones getting it and that the city actually gets what it's paying for."

Spring cleanup, Auburn's annual curbside collection program, is scheduled to begin in mid-May. Residents are allowed to leave old appliances, building materials, brush and household refuse at the curb. City crews collect those things and sell what they can, recycling what's left.

"It's one service the city provides that people actually see as a tangible benefit," Aho said. "People don't always see the benefits from a fire department or police, but they do from this."

But the service has been abused in the past, Aho said. Residents and city officials alike suspect that people living outside Auburn drive in and leave their trash curbside.

The piles of refuse are an attractive target for garbage pickers, who pull out old copper pipes and power cords, metal and other things that can be sold.

Those are the very things the city wants to sell to pay for the cost of curbside collections.

"We lose that revenue," Aho said. "Of course, it depends on the market for metals, but it can mean quite a bit of revenue for the city."

The pickers make it more difficult for city crews to collect the piles, Aho said.

"We need to be in and out, efficiently, to pick up the stuff and go," he said. "People usually put their piles out neatly, but the pickers tend to come through and throw things all over the place. That makes a mess, and it slows us down."

Police will be on the lookout for both groups, he said.

"They tend to stick out like sore thumbs, with trucks full of junk," Aho said. "That's what our patrol officers are going to be looking for. If you are driving through town with a bunch of junk in your truck, you can count on getting stopped and questioned."

Deputy Police Chief Jason Moen said such people can be charged with violating a city ordinance, with fines set by a judge.

"In both instances, it may be a matter of catching them in the act," Moen said. "We'll be out there, but we're asking our residents to be proactive. If they see a truck pulled up someplace, it gives us a good reason to stop and talk to them and find out what they're doing."

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Too funny. Given the fact

Too funny. Given the fact that at times there are only four (yes 4) patrolmen on duty for some shifts, it is unimaginable that Chief Crowell would instruct that they prioritize their efforts and  BOLO for "Trash Pickers". This Aho appears to be true to his name were one to change the last two letters.

Jeff Carleton's picture

Lewiston plan makes sense

While they aren't offering the true spring clean up of years past, they are still oferring free Brush pickup....that is the majority of what many property owners put out.  They are also opening the transfer station free to all Lewiston residents for 7 days(includes 2 Saturdays) to get rid of other junk...tv's, appliances, computers, building materails, scrap metal, etc, etc.  This means Lewiston residents can get rid of their junk for free.....but may actually have to work a little....imagine that...

Kevin Murphy's picture

You mean they call it Clean

You mean they call it Clean Up week?  I thought it was Redistribution Week.  Sorry Auburn, if some "junky" wants my two copper pipes and my old chair, he can have it.

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

The High Court said that

The High Court said that trash IS PUBLIC PROPERTY therefore the public should have access to it here the city wants it both ways so this ordanance would not pass the high court, however dumpers are illegal and as such are violating the law, However stopping people for having trash in thier truck violates the laws for unreasonable search and detainment and if I was pulled over I would demand A ticket then I would file a million dollar law suit aginst the city taking it to federal court at which time I will have won my case thank you keystone cops!

 's picture

junk piles

Profiling the guilty immigrants might solve the scavenger problem.

HUH???? what are you talking

HUH???? what are you talking about???

Assuming the comment about

Assuming the comment about the bastards is what you were replying too..? why wasn't it pulled? It is an insult and there is no need of it..thought this type of thinking was a thing of the past, but obviously not..

what does this have to so

what does this have to so with this story????Bunting

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