The clothing drop-off box at Yosemite and Powers avenues in the Dollar General parking lot is a popular spot.
A reader spotted a man reaching inside the box on Saturday pulling out donated items at about 3 p.m.
On Monday just before 7 p.m. an individual that appeared homeless was seen rummaging through boxes of items next to the bin that apparently would not fit into the collection box. After he retrieved what he wanted he left the clothing that he didn’t want strewn about.
Then on Wednesday two men were spotted going through boxes of items left outside the bin. They didn’t leave a mess after they were finished.
This might sound a tad picky but more than a few people point to the collection boxes that are placed around Manteca not by the Goodwill or Salvation Army that man their donation drop-off points or other local groups but Bay Area profits are a quality of life issue.
The boxes of donated items dropped off next to filled collection bins or the mess created when someone goes through those boxes and toss the contents about and just leave the items where they toss them doesn’t exactly enhance the looks of Manteca.
It is especially true of the collection bin at the corner of Powers and Yosemite given that Yosemite Avenue is a main thoroughfare and is essentially the eastern entrance to downtown.
It should be noted firms such as USAgain take the donated items they collect and sell them for a profit in Latin America and Africa.
No one begrudges those in need taking the donated items except perhaps the company that wants to make money from the generosity of others. The issue is when scavengers sort through stuff and leave a big mess. Also boxes piled next to an overflowing bin that may sit there for days or weeks doesn’t exactly shout community pride.
That said the refuse collection truck drivers for the City of Manteca have been able to reduce another major eyesore significantly— dumped recycling Toters.
A year ago scavengers that included a good number of homeless would go through neighborhoods ahead of trucks on collection day to pilfer recyclables. Many simply overturned the blue Toters, picked out recyclables that are worth a nickel apiece and went on their way.
Rexie LeStrange of the City of Manteca Solid Waste Division said truck drivers have been telling such scavengers when they see them that the city doesn’t mind them taking the recyclables that actually are legally the city’s when they are placed at curbside as long as they don’t leave a mess.
Throe effort has reduced the trashing of neighborhoods significantly.
Perhaps the city might want to consider restricting where collection bins for clothing and other items can be placed as the first step in sprucing up parts of the East Yosemite Avenue corridor.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org