Bulk Pickup

(WSVN) - You’ve heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but some South Florida neighbors are hoping to put a stop to the treasure hunt. The Nightteam’s Jeff Lennox explains in this 7News Investigation.

Unlike many garages, Gus Varona’s stays neat and uncluttered.

Gus goes through his house every other week to look for things to put out for bulk trash pickup in his Pembroke Pines neighborhood.

Gus Varona, Pembroke Pines resident: “We got a brand new TV, or something like that, and we’re getting rid of the old one or furniture.”

Bulk pickup lets residents get rid of everything from TVs to furniture and lawn equipment. But you know the old saying — “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Gus Varona: “If you put it out there, the hope is that somebody will take it and use it, and if they don’t then it’s ultimately going to find its way in to the landfill.”

Gus says people are always checking out his pile to see if there are any treasures in there.

Gus Varona: “Trucks that come by, and usually they’ll pick and choose what they want to get.”

But not all the residents in Pembroke Pines are so generous with their trash. Some homeowners have complained to the city about strangers digging through their stuff.

Commissioner Angelo Castillo, Pembroke Pines: “What they say is, they think these individuals are casing their homes or presenting some sort of threat.”

Gus Varona: “Maybe they feel that whatever is put out there isn’t for public consumption.”

So the city is considering an ordinance that would make it illegal for anyone other than the waste company to take from the bulk pickup piles.

Commissioner Angelo Castillo: “They could be fined. Even a neighbor of yours who decided, ‘You know what? I could use that little table in my spare room,’ or whatever, you could call that person and they would be fined. It would be illegal to do it.”

Commissioner Angelo Castillo is not a fan of the proposed ordinance, saying the waste discussion is a waste of time.

Commissioner Angelo Castillo: “When we speak to the Pembroke Pines Police Department, which has 60 years of experience in the city, never once they say, has this presented any sort of security or safety concern ever of any kind ever. I think we’ve got many more, important things to do than this, and I’m eager getting busy doing them.”

Gus agrees. He and Castillo believe allowing people to reuse their old stuff isn’t just good for the environment… it’s good for the community too.

Commissioner Angelo Castillo: “If my old chair or my old rug makes their life a little bit better, I feel very good about letting them have it.”

Gus Varona: “That’s one less thing they have to pick up you know, and it’s being reused for somebody else.”

City commissioners in Pembroke Pines will meet tomorrow to vote on whether the ordinance is needed. We’ll let you know what happens.

To find out more about bulk pickup, go to http://www.ppines.com/index.aspx?nid=467

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