Garbage Pickers are Breaking the Law

In Toronto it is against the law to be a garbage picker. That surprised me. It seems that the city is very protective of the bottles and cans that people throw out. Aluminum in the cans sells for about $2,000 a tonne. Now that liquor bottles are returnable, there’s even more money at stake. The city estimates that garbage pickers (some are organized and use trucks) cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

The Globe and Mail was conducting an online poll today, asking people, “Do you think it should be illegal to take bottles from someone else’s recycling bin?”, and about 70% of respondents were voting “No”.