LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - A community ravaged by flash flooding if now fighting back against garbage pickers.
One man's trash is another man's treasure - or so the old saying goes. But these treasure-hunters are becoming a nuisance in the City of Lockport, where there's now a ban on garbage-picking.
Lockport has become a picker's paradise, following last Friday's flooding. Some people have had to throw away everything that was in their basements. Problem is... garbage-picking is against Lockport's laws.
Lockport Police Lt. Adam Piedmont said, "Scavenging: Chapter 155-5 of the city ordinance."
Until now, the no-scavenging rule hasn't been strictly enforced. But so many residents have complained this week, that Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker announced a garbage-picking ban.
"It's more suspicious activity. 'Are they just going through my garbage, or are they going to be looking around my house, or stealing stuff from our cars?' And stuff like that," Lt. Piedmont explained.
All week, the pickers have been going from pile to pile. Police say, it's not only illegal, it's also unsanitary, which is why they're serious about enforcing the city ordinance.
Lt. Piedmont said, "A lot of garbage has been put out, a lot of it moldy, waterlogged, damaged. And it's not sanitary, and it's not safe. They're ripping through garbage bags, creating a large mess. And it's creating quality of life issues."
Since Wednesday, City of Lockport Police have ticketed three people, charging them with illegal scavenging.
"If the parties are located, they'll be issued an appearance ticket with a maximum fine of up to $100, and they have to appear in City Court," Lt. Piedmont said.
Normally, you're not supposed to put your trash out in Lockport more than 24 hours before pickup. Mayor Tucker has suspended that rule, to help people clean up from the flooding.
Trash sitting out longer is part of what's causing this picking problem.
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