SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A San Francisco Board of Supervisors subcommittee Monday heard testimony regarding Recology, the company that recycles San Francisco’s trash, if it isn’t stolen from resident’s blue bins in the middle of the night.

According to Paul Giusti, who handles complaints for the collection company, recycling theft and illegal buyback operators were the number one source of complaints when residents had the opportunity to testify.

One resident gave a detailed account of just how ugly things were getting and said there were fights between organized crews of collectors in the streets. He said there were two fights on his block on 30th Street in a single night, with the violence resulting in broken glass, a damaged neighbor’s car and trash scattered in the street.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Recology said it receives about 1,000 complaints a year about theft of bottles, cans and other trash that’s placed on the sidewalk for recycling.

The city, meanwhile, seems trapped in a philosophical battle with itself over whether to crack down on the thieves or look the other way because renegade recycling is how some of the city’s poorest residents, including the homeless, eke out a living.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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