MONROE TOWNSHIP - Many flood victims have placed their ruined belongings at the curb, but now some say they are tired of people going through what has been put out for trash.
Monroe Township Administrator Wayne Hamilton says police are enforcing the township's anti-scavenger ordinance. Items left at the curb belong to the township and only the township or its contractors can remove it. Five people have already been charged with theft.
Health officials warn the items families are throwing away have been tainted by things, including toxic chemicals and human waste. Katherine Antonitis, of the Middlesex County Health Department, says that skin infections could spread through open wounds and that E. coli could be present in the water, along with Hepatitis B or C, and tetanus.
Metal objects such as appliances are often extremely popular because people can sell them for scrap.
Township officials say Irene caused an estimated $14 million in property damage, mostly to homeowners who don't have flood insurance.