The Prince George Recycling Centre is the victim of another break-in to one of its donation bins. The bins bring in thousands of dollars worth of cans and bottles for local charities each year.
Manager of the PG Recycling Centre, Ken Zeimer, says he’s had to be on the look-out after two break-ins over the past three weeks. “They basically came up, broke the lock off and took everything that was inside,” he said. “We’ve had a few times where our donation bin has been broken into and essentially they’re coming in overnight and they’re stealing all of the bottles that are supposed to be going to local charities.”
This is the sixth time in nearly a year the bin outside of the centre has been broken into. Laurie Cook donates regularly to the bin and is shocked at what’s happened. “My first reaction is disgust, that’s terrible,” he said. “For me, the recycling is the most important part and if I can recycle and give back to the community, I win both ways.”
PG Recycling collect thousands of cans and bottles each day. It’s estimated thieves are taking anywhere from 40 to 60 dollars worth when they steal. The bin was moved this week and it’s now in plain sight of a security camera.
Cpl. Craig Douglass with the RCMP recommends a high quality surveillance system to help police track down any offenders. “We would also encourage some kind of a security system or something in place where the owner or security company would be phoned or contacted if there was some kind of a breach and then the police could be contacted and we can get there.”
However, the damage is still done. The PG Hospice Society relies heavily on donations. Executive Director, Donna Flood said Hospice received three thousand dollars collectively this summer from all six bins located around the city. “For us, it was quite a huge donation in order to allow us to continue to do what we do,” Flood said. “I can also speak for Big Brothers and Big Sisters which is the charity this month, and that’s a huge impact on them and being able to provide their services.”
For now, Zeimer says the recycling centre will stay vigilant. Its bin will stay outdoors for easy access and the hope is that stronger locks will prevent any further stealing as well. “Every time it (bottles and cans) goes missing that’s dollars that the charities aren’t getting, as well as it kind of affects our business as we have to do any repairs for the bins that are needed and get new locks for it.”
If you have any information or see anyone stealing from a donation bin, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or the Prince George RCMP at (250) 561-3300.