Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Did you know that the City of Santa Ana is going into the last year of their trash contract with Waste Management? The contract expires in about January of 2018.

Some residents have been pushing for recyclables trash cans that are retrofitted with gravity locks as they have found that their recyclables are often pilfered by unknown individuals.



It would cost our city about $2.1M to retrofit the current trash cans with gravity locks, so that is not likely to happen.

The reason this matters is that our city is losing a lot of recyclables. Santa Ana has the most buy-back recyclable sites in Orange County and Southern California is number one in the nation, per capita, for buy-back, recyclable sites.

Illegal scavenging of our recyclables is not considered a serious crime by the SAPD – then again they are so understaffed they can barely do anything about the ongoing gang violence in our city.

Currently Santa Ana residents are recycling 67% of their waste, but the new state mandate is 75%. That will be a huge problem with all the scavenging that goes on. But another problem is “contamination.” Apparently many of our residents mix up their waste streams. Imagine trying to sift through recyclables at a recycling plant only to keep running into dirty diapers and food waste…

We are told that currently the City of Santa Ana is weighing whether to make the locking reyclable trash cans a requirement in the scope of their new waste contract in 2018. If you would like this to happen be sure to send an email to that affect to the Public Works agency at ckingig@santa-ana.org.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

8 thoughts on “How much are recyclable trash scavengers costing Santa Ana?”
  1. Poor people go through the trash, and sort it, and redeem it for what they can find. I would much rather that they have it than that the City Government of Santa Ana have it.

      1. That may be true, but is our recycle program more about CA Redemption recycles or recycling paper/metal/plastic/etc in general? I give the CA Redemption and newspapers to someone(s) who could use the extra cash.

      2. The reality is the state calculates the waste diversion by the amount of trash that goes to the landfills. So by taking the recyclables out of the trash it actually helps the city’s waste recycling.

  2. I am all for doing anything to help reinforce the effort to have the city collect all of the revenue possible from our possible recycling byproducts. Rather than start with a $2.1M cost on containers, a cost we will all eventually bear, maybe the city could go on a campaign to educate our fellow citizens of the monies being lost by contamination and frankly theft from these cans, which I watch every Sunday night! Let residents know what steps could, and should, be taken to protect this revenue. Put these figures into real terms, e.g. loss of funding for parks, so all can appreciate how much is being taken from our coffers.

    I have been complaining to family and friends about what I have known has been going on with these scavengers. The recent article supports this. Please help continue to get this word out through the neighborhood groups, Nextdoor.com, and local media. If you put this into terms people will understand, e.g. less sidewalk beautification, people will join in to help stop this loss by cleaning up their own recyclable stream and safely curtail scavengers’ activities.

  3. WOW… Really that’s what the city is concerned about the Illegal scavenging of our trash cans in the middle of the night? I would think that they would some what care about the real danger this brings. Like opertunes looking for a easy come up with credit card and identity theft. I’m sure that most of them are honest hardworking people who are in need of some extra cash but there are those few looking for a easy come up.

  4. I call the SAPD every time I see a trash scavenger – they say they will send a unit out – I don’t know if they do that or not. We haven’t had any scavengers in the last couple of months.
    SAPD (714) 834-4211

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