We figure, "Hey, instead of going who-knows-where to some city-designated central recycling center, they will go to help a family out in hard times, and the recyclables will still end up in a recycling center somewhere in doing so, right?"
On the other side of the coin, there is the fact that once those recyclables are left out in those bins on the street, they are no longer legally our property to give, as they have become the property of the city, to use the funds gathered for the city's needs (and with a cash-strapped municipal economy so bad that our police force has volunteered to forgo pay raises this year, the city desperately needs it).
So technically, a person going through your recyclables bins after you've left them out chock full on the street is theft from the city, but certainly considered by the police to be a minor crime at best.
How do you feel, fellow citizens of Mountain View, about this? Is it really necessary to even report such a crime? It just seems that, legal or not, when you see someone collecting from your bins, you *know* that it's going to feed a family, but when the huge rumbling trucks come along one morning, with their massive metallic claws seizing the bins and emptying them to arrive at an unknown recycling destination, we cannot see the result of where someone was helped or not.
Story written by The Eye (Jordan A. Moller),
The Old Mountain View Neighborhood