The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) estimates that $8 million to $10 million worth of cardboard is stolen from New York City garbage routes each year. Imagine how much higher the revenue loss is when the value of bottles, cans, and plastic is added to the equation.

So the city and its solid waste haulers are fighting back.

Approved by City Council on July 23, Int. No. 889-A ("unlawful removal or acceptance of certain recyclable material") amends the city's administrative code to make removing or accepting certain recyclables illegal. Vice President for Government Affairs David Biderman told Waste Age that each violation of the law carries civil and criminal fines of $1,000.

The association has been encouraging the legislation since its introduction on June 28, 2012. (In general, licensed haulers collect from commercial customers and the city's Department of Sanitation from residential customers.) The law's expected to reduce losses suffered by both.

The law will take effect when Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs the bill.