Police have turned over to prosecutors their case against a 46-year-old man who allegedly stole 100 yen worth of old newspapers from a garbage collection site in Suginami Ward, Tokyo, it was learned Tuesday.

Suginami Ward instituted an ordinance in March to ban people from taking away recyclable garbage, and filed a complaint with police about the man. According to the local police station, it is very unusual to establish a theft case involving recyclable trash.

The man, a newspaper recycler from the city of Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, is suspected of stealing the newspapers on the morning of Aug. 20 from a garbage collection site in the ward.

The ward counts on proceeds from the sale of recyclables as part of its revenue. But it became aware that unauthorized collectors had been taking away such garbage before the proper collectors made their rounds of the pickup sites. The ward then began organizing patrols to catch them.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.