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Central Valley | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons

New Recycling Laws will Impact the Homeless
by Mike Rhodes ( mikerhodes [at] comcast.net )
Sunday Oct 19th, 2008 9:41 AM
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread."
- Anatole France
New Recycling Laws will Impact the Homeless
By Mike Rhodes

Starting December 1, 2008, fewer homeless will be able to recycle cans and bottles as a source of income. That is because new laws will require them to have a valid driver’s license or state ID card before they can get paid for recyclables. The laws, signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, are an attempt to reduce the theft of aluminum, copper, and stainless steel but will significantly impact homeless people without state issued ID.

Many homeless people do not have state issued ID for a variety of reasons. In Fresno, a major reason homeless people do not have state issued ID is because city clean up crews took it during raids conducted over the last ten years. It had been city policy to immediately take and destroy homeless peoples property - giving them no opportunity to reclaim their possessions, which included ID, clothing, tent, and any thing else they owned. A federal court order has blocked the city from the continuation of that policy. But, many of the homeless still don’t have state issued ID.

The five new bills passed into law are SB 447, SB 691, AB 844, AB 1859, and AB1778. According to fliers now being distributed to the homeless by recycling operations, they will be required to collect the following information from their customers:

1. Name, valid driver’s license number or state identification card number and state of issue.
2. Vehicle license number and state of issue.
3. A description of the items being recycled.
4. A statement indicating the seller is the owner, or a signed transfer document.
5. A photograph or video of the customer (Non-Ferrous only).
6. A thumb print of the customer (Non-Ferrous only).

Payment for all Non-Ferrous metals (copper, copper alloys, stainless steel, or aluminum) will be held for three days from the date of sale.

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread."
- Anatole France


For a list of articles and documents about the struggle for civil liberties for homeless people in Fresno, see: http://www.fresnoalliance.com/home/homelessness.htm

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by want to help
Sunday Oct 19th, 2008 2:23 PM
One would think there is a huge difference between the kind of trading in of soda cans that homeless and other struggling people do and actual theft of steel from say, construction sites, etc that the law was maybe meant to stop.
But one wonders....were the laws that were ostensibly to prevent theft REALLY to make it more difficult for immigrants to supplement their incomes? There is a lot of pressure on Schwarzenegger to "do" something about the so-called immigrant "problem".
How can we help? thanks for posting this. These laws came to pass under my usual observant radar!
by Recycler
Sunday Oct 19th, 2008 11:12 PM
As I understand it, this has nothing to do with oppressing the poor. The intent is to get a grip on illegal theft of various materils for sale into the recycling markets. People have been stealing catalytic converters from cars, ripping the cores out of rooftop airconditioners, and stealing bronze plaques from historical markers, all for sale into recycling markets, in order to pay for various drug addictions.
by observer
Monday Oct 20th, 2008 9:57 AM
then why does it apply to cans and bottles? why not just id folks who bring in scrap metals, etc.?
by We need a New Governor!
Sunday Nov 30th, 2008 10:25 PM
I am actually supposed to provide a THUMBPRINT to recycle plastic bottles??!!!