Scavenging (Theft of Recyclables)

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What Is Scavenging and How Can I Report It?

Scavenging is the act of unauthorized persons going through recycling or trash containers and removing items, whether the containers are located on City or private property. Scavenging is illegal in Walnut.

To help stop this crime, the City encourages anyone who encounters a scavenging incident that has already taken place to report it. If you observe someone scavenging, please take down the following information:

  • Date, time and location of incident
  • Description of vehicle and license plate number
  • Description of person(s) scavenging
  • What items/materials were being scavenged
  • Your name and phone number (optional)

Report the information to the Sherriff’s Department:

IMPORTANT: For your own safety, do not confront the scavenger yourself.

The Sheriff's Department is responsible for enforcement of the Ordinance. If you notice scavengers in your neighborhood, please contact the Walnut Sheriff's Department at (909) 595-2264 and provide them with any information that would be helpful for their investigation, such as vehicle license plate number, vehicle description, time, day, and any other pertinent details.

Tips on How to Discourage Scavenging:

  • Set out your containers the morning of trash collection day (no later than 7 a.m.) 
  • If possible, put bottles and cans with California redemption value at the bottom of the cart underneath other recyclables

  • If you must set out your container the night before, consider keeping bottles and cans with redemption value separate and place them in the cart the next morning before collection

  • When possible, report scavenging in progress