Town of Smithtown officials are noticing few and fewer metal home applicances are making their way from the curb to the town recycling center.
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said trash collectors are picking up significantly less scrap metal than in previous years. It just doesn't seem as if the same number of washers, dryers, air conditioners, stoves or other metal applicances are finding their way to the town's recycling center.
"If you put a washing machine out its going to be gone before the town gets to it," Vecchio said.
Under town code, it's illegal for residents to take scrap metal, or any household items, a homeowner puts out on the curb for trash collectors to pick up. Once it's at the curb, trash and recyclables become Town of Smithtown property, according to Vecchio.
The supervisor said he's spoken with private scrap metal collection companies asking the town to enact tougher laws against this kind of behavior.
Smithtown's municipal waste services facility typically collects scrap metal from discarded household items, builds up a pile and then weighs it. Companies than must go through a bidding process to collect the material.
"It’s a sign that metals are going high in prices," Vecchio said.
In February 2012, the town to collect and destroy used electronic goods. Under the contract, eRevival pays the town 7.8 cents for each pound of scrap metal. The less scrap metal collected, less revenue for the town.
Smithtown is also involved in legal proceedings against a garbage carter whose employees were allegedly operating a recycling scheme by selling collected paper and cardboard for private profit and shorting the town of more than $200,0000.
John Valentine, director of public safety, has told Vecchio he's keeping an eye on workers to make sure a similar scheme isn't to blame.
We're curious: Do you put out recyclable metal appliance to the curb for the town to pick up? Or do you cash in by calling a scrap metal company?