Hey Don.. agreed this is a step too far. Theft of garbage? yikes
However, as a resident in the zone of question I have to admit - these dumpster divers are a menace. For those who do not live within the northeastern quadrant of the city, you may not know what I'm talking about. Basically, on trash nights there are those unrespecting individuals who choose to pillage the bins leaving substantial messes in their wake... that myself and fellow residents are subjected to on a bi-weekly basis. The mess is pretty bad..garbage all of the sidewalk of the worst sort. I won't go into detail but I live on Larkin now, and I should mention that this has nothing to do with the late night polk gulch scene. Granted, I have seen at least one 'recycler' woman actually dump, sort and replace garbage in the bin, but that unfortunately is not the norm. So I can personally feel the need for a solution. This has not been a problem in other areas of the city I have lived btw. (Richmond, PacH, Bernal, Russian hill, Mission, Sunset)
Luckily there is a libertarian solution to the problem - private trash pickup. Case in point - my building has an arrangement with a private hauler that has a key to the building. On pickup days, they wheel the bins to the truck from the basement area and return them once unloaded. That way, no unlocked cans are accessible outside at night. Recyclables are sorted by them as well so that's not an issue.
As far as I know, there is not a specific monetary gain had by the waste company for the recyclables. In fact, I would bet that is an extra charge to the landlord and tenants...not sure. Either way, I would have no issue with discarding my recyclables in a separate 'public' bin for those who may choose to pick it up on the street and do with it what they will, other than dump it on the sidewalk.
my 2 cents. I don't think this discussion applies to public bins either, as they generally have locks and City of SF pickup..