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Resident Tells Council about Man Taking Cans

On Sept. 6 Detweiler Avenue resident Pia Doklan told Hellertown Borough Council members that a man has been taking cans out of her family's recycling bin without permission.

An unidentified middle-aged man with wavy hair has been taking metal cans out of her recycling bin whenever it's placed alley-side for pickup, Detweiler Avenue resident Pia Doklan told Hellertown Borough Council Sept. 6.

Doklan, who addressed council during its courtesies of the floor portion of the meeting, said the man has been taking the recyclables without her permission.

She said he is not a borough employee, and explained that "he goes from house to house in the alleyway," rummaging through recycling containers in order to collect cans.

She wanted clarification on whether or not the man is allowed to take the cans, and said she had already spoken to the Hellertown Police Department about the situation.

Borough Manager Cathy Kichline said a borough ordinance prohibits individuals from removing items from the recycling containers.

She told Doklan that in the future, she should notify the police department if she observes the man taking cans from her pickup spot.

Kichline explained that the borough receives reimbursement for the metal it recycles, and that that reimbursement helps offset the amount borough residents pay in annual recycling fees.

Councilwoman Gail Nolf suggested that a police officer be stationed at the alley before the next recycling pickup, in order to surveille the scene.

And Hellertown Mayor Richard Fluck asked whether the man would be allowed to take cans out of a recycling bin if he had a property owner's permission to do so.

Council solicitor Michael Corriere answered the mayor's question in the negative, stating that the borough's ordinance would technically overrule a property owner's wishes.

"I almost think I know who it is," Fluck said, but he did not identify the individual.

He added that the issue is one he has spoken to Hellertown Police Chief Robert Shupp about in the past.

Michele Gubish September 14, 2011 at 01:50 AM
@Megan.. you too could save aluminum cans and make money... with that being said, however, until the recycling is removed from my property, it's still mine and if i choose to allow someone to take the cans, so be it!. There are LOTS of things people take from others garbage... furniture etc... what bugs me more is when I find things out for garbage that I didnt put there... now that has happened on quite a few occasions!
Stephanie Brown September 14, 2011 at 06:06 PM
This seems like a simple enough problem to have solved if the affected homeowners would just talk to the guy. Can't understand why the police and the borough were called in to deal with this? Not sure why a stake out by the Hellertown police is needed either.
Megan September 14, 2011 at 06:21 PM
@ Stephanie spoke to him at least 2x in the past. @ Michele, that was actually where he was picking from, I have a separate bin of cans that I do take to Blindermans..... That being said, he also wasn't anywhere near my curb since those cans are not put at the curb. I am not sure that the man referred to in the article is the same man that has been on my block, the man that is wandering around my house seems like he is using drugs, I feel that it is enabling him if I give him the cans, didn't I help fuel his addiction? That is one thing I will NOT do under any circumstances. Michele, I am sure that you can understand that.
Michele Gubish September 15, 2011 at 11:53 AM
Absolutely!! If he is acutally rummaging on your property, that can be pretty creepy and cause for concern. The story written sounded as if he was just pulling cans out of the recycle bin at the curb. Hope all can come up with a good soltuion for everyone involved.
Donna Santore September 18, 2011 at 12:58 AM
A police surveillance!!!! Are you kidding me! With all the drugs being sold and manufactured in this town I can't believe my tax dollars would actually be used for this purpose. Anybody can take their cans to Blinderman as I do then the problem would be resolved. A few months ago a gentleman asked me very politely if I had cans in my recycling as I was carrying it out to the curb and if I did could he have them. I told him that I take them to Blinderman myself and he thanked me anyway. Drug addict...I don't know, maybe somebody that's just trying to make some money to make ends meet or maybe for a meal. I try not to not to judge people because times are tough and who knows what his circumstances are. People should be more vigilant about the serious crimes in our town not this nonsense. I grew up in Hellertown and moved back several years ago. I cannot believe how teenagers walk the streets all hours of the night, drugs are available anywhere you go, and the big crime is somebody taking cans out of recycling bins! There are a lot bigger problems in this town and they should be the priority.

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