Originally Posted by Yesfan
You got me there, but never underestimate what people would do for money. Not everyone shreds important stuff like that. I know some of my co-workers that complain about all the credit card applications they get and how they just chuck it in their recycle bins. Who knows if someone else comes along and see that and tries to take advantage of that?
I don't think that's how that works, but I'm also not 100% sure on that. There was a guy that got fired at my job last year for stealing copper out of the recycle bins. This guy was going out to the recycle barrels each day after work and taking a few plated copper pieces each day. Technically it was "thrown away" but it was still considered company property and the guy lost his job over it.
I know my posts in this thread may sound trivial to a few, but my main point is what's wrong with just asking the guy for the bottles? I don't think the OP is a thief, but if you have to start a thread about whether or not you're crossing the line, then maybe you should also ask yourself what's a better option or approach?
A recycle bin for work may go to a place that PAYS the company for the metals (I can tell that they most assuredly do.)
A recyce bin for a homeowner is different in that they do not get paid for the materials being recycled. As far as I know, placing stuff next to the curb for pickup is an indication that they are being disposed of and that the owner is giving up ownership.
That is why anything that could be easily construed as being thrown away (such as in a trash pile by the curb) is fair game for collectors in the eyes of the law.
However, finding a watch on the side of the road and keeping it could be considered theft as the watch would be considered as lost property and ownership is not transferred in that case, only possession.
IMO opinion (having had a single business law course in college many years ago) setting bottles by the curb for pickup constitutes the intention to give up ownership.
I don't think he would have a problem with you taking them if you ask either. Most alcoholics dont' even think they ARE alcoholics!!
I would ask him, even though I don't think you need to, legally.