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Here you are, going about your own business, trying to have a green home by putting paper, glass and plastic into the recycle bin. But little do you know that while you sleep there are silent armies profiting from your thoughtfulness! In large cities like San Francisco and New York, pilfering curbside recyclables isn't just the job of a few rogue bag ladies and vagabonds, it's become a sophisticated business venture.
"They're like an army out there," San Fransisco resident Bruce Johnson told the Associated Press. "They're in trucks. They're on cellphones. It's a business." You know someone is serious when they bust out their Blackberry to call in a truckload of old newspapers. The pilferers load their trucks with recyclables and sell them at market, costing cities like Berkely, California up to $50,000 a year.
But cities and businesses aren't going down without a fight. In San Francisco and New York the problem has become so serious that stealing recyclables will get you up to a $5,000 fine. Some business owners are even taking justice into their own hands. The publishers of the free news publication East Bay Express hired a private detective and installed anti-theft devices on newsstands.
If you thought that all that sorting you've been doing has gone unnoticed, think again. This latest trend shows just how valuable our resources truly are! [USA Today]