HERMOSA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Leaders in Hermosa Beach on Tuesday night were expected to vote on whether to make scavenging in public waste bins illegal.
Supporters say it’s a matter of public health and safety.
“If it keeps it safer, more family friendly, I’m all for that,” Hermosa resident Scott Olson said.
In the picturesque coastal community, scavengers looking for recyclables in waste bins to turn in for cash is a common sight. Now city leaders are looking to make it a misdemeanor.
Leaders say it’s about safety, keeping broken glass and spills out of public spaces like the strand and meeting environmental goals.
Many in the south bay beach city wonder if it would realistically be enforced.
“I think as relates to the public, it will be a priority for us,” City Manager Tom Bakaly said.
Bakaly says it’s illegal in residential and business areas and they have two code enforcement officers who will police it and educate the public at the beach.
Not everyone likes the idea.
“Sure, people that live here don’t want to see the seedy part of life,” property owner Gentil Smith said. “They don’t want to see people less than them perhaps. But the reality is, it’s the difference between they eat or they don’t eat.”