Garbage Carters Collecting Less Scrap Metal in Smithtown

Supervisor Patrick Vecchio says collection is less than one-third what it used to be, bringing decreased revenue.


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? 

Tim ENPT February 07, 2013 at 05:13 PM
It could also mean, people can't afford new appliances at this point in time.
Middle Man February 07, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Has Pat ever noticed that the "Town" collectors have their own metal collection bin located on the side of the garbage truck? If they see something of reclaim value, guess where it goes? I've seen them break glass windows inside the track, to isolate the aluminum frame.
David February 07, 2013 at 05:41 PM
middle man nice HOWEVER has the real thing is has PAT noticed that radom trucks ride the areas on scrap night and take the stuff before the town can get it. I personally put stuff out and within a hour or two its gone!
Dawn February 07, 2013 at 07:18 PM
yes i too have seen my garbage men put things on the side of the trucks as well. they pull cords out of tvs and take old computer stuff and throw it on the side. and if you put stuff out on a sunday, within a hour or so somebody stops and takes whats out there to cash it in.
gpgoldberg February 07, 2013 at 07:54 PM
I always sell my scrap metal and I recycle electronics by bringing them to BestBuy where they dispose of it properly.
Mitch Calabrese February 07, 2013 at 08:22 PM
"One man's garbage is another man's treasure"
John K Massaro February 07, 2013 at 09:22 PM
What should Jan do with all of her scrap metal?
Sam February 07, 2013 at 10:21 PM
I all ways see the scrap guys picking up from the curb. When we replaced our appliances they took away the old ones, so I am not sure how it works. Is it the same has having mattress or furniture out for a pick up--when they tell you a day and then it sits on your lawn for 2 weeks? (I am not being flippant--really asking?)I would say if the town gave you date they should pick it up that day. I moved from another town, when you called you got a date for a pick up (it could be 2-3 weeks away), and they actually came on that day. If garbage sat out for more then a day you could be fined (that is a little tough), but that would slow down the scrap guys.
Stevo February 07, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Duuuh, just tell hu ta go ta 2 brudas scrap metal!!
WOODY11780 February 07, 2013 at 11:04 PM
WOODY11780 February 07, 2013 at 11:08 PM
King Pedlar February 08, 2013 at 02:57 AM
When I've called the town for pick-up, especially furniture, they don't give a specific time or day, i.e., "...leave it out on the curb, we'll pick it up within the week." Despite all that, it's usually picked up in a timely manner, but God-only-knows, who picked it up?
Argile February 08, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Usually a couple, male and female, hispanic, drive down all the blocks in a white pickup truck picking up the scrap metal. Had no idea it was illegal to do that.
Brian February 08, 2013 at 11:41 AM
I would rather metal guys pick up my scrap metal than rob my house ar break into my car any day. Weather legal or not has nothing to do with me. They are just trying to feed their family. Times are tough.
LINANA February 08, 2013 at 01:20 PM
When I got a new washer and dryer, I called someone from CL and kept it at the side of my house. He picked up promptly as scheduled. I figured if someone was trying to make a couple of extra dollars to help his family, why not give it to him. Heard too many stories of town workers (specifically Smithtown) taking things for their own personal benefit or reselling what is meant to be picked up. They are being paid to pick up. In effect, town workers who take the metal are knowingly stealing from their employer (town) since the town gets $ for the metal. Many people put out good, reusable items of furniture, etc. early hoping someone will pick it up and use it rather than it going to the dumpster.
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Was it all that important to point out that they were Hispanic? For the record, I LEAVE my scrap metal at the curb for the guy that tools around my neighborhood looking for it.
John K Massaro February 08, 2013 at 02:42 PM
And who cares for that matter? As long as it's gone. If sombeody else can use the furniture that I'm throwing out, more power to them...
* February 08, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Dave M. February 08, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Today, I saw a Jody Enterprises truck picking up trash on Cambon Place in Nesconset. Why hasn't Smithtown cancelled their contract? Other towns have cancelled their contracts after they were caught stealing recyclables from Smithtown, and yet the actual victim, Smithtown, HASN'T cancelled them? What's behind that???
Argile February 08, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Yes it was because that's who pulls up in front of my house when I leave scrap metal out. Problem?
Mike Perrotta February 10, 2013 at 01:33 PM
me too two guys in a pick-up
josef February 11, 2013 at 10:41 PM
A little history reminder, It was only a few elections ago when most people had jobs and scrap was at an all time low that the town burried everything that came in on the trucks. If you wanted something like a fridge picked up you were on your own, sometimes you had to pay a private guy to haul it. All of the back roads and secluded parks werei dumping grounds because people didn't want to pay dumping fees.You lcould report these dumpings constantly but the town was always "Too busy or not our job".Right now I don't care who picks it up . These people that go around picking up scraps are not getting rich, as far as I'm concerned these people have to make a living too. I don't think that most of us know it but a lot of this "junk" winds up in somebody's kitchen or living room. The town dosen't think like that .


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