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MANTECA - City officials are distributing 100 recycling cans that lock to prevent rummagers from digging through items and leaving a mess behind.

It's happening because many residents have complained about their recycle and trash cans being torn apart on garbage night.

"They leave a mess and we get calls from residents, saying the garbagemen left a mess in front of the house. It's a mess when we got there," Public Works Department spokesperson Rexie LeStrange said.

LeStrange found of trash bin that have locks and will be put out 100 as part of a pilot program. It'll be up to residents to lock them after they're loaded -- gravity does the rest.

"The truck comes along and as it's upside down, it's gravity that opens the lid. He sets it back down, they close the lid and it's locked again," LeStrange explained.

It's along Mission Ridge Drive in South Manteca where the can messes are the worst. That's the neighborhood where the 100 cans will be distributed first.

LeStrange said if the program shows success, locked cans could be given to other parts of the city. It's not clear yet if it's the city, or homeowners, that would pick up the one-time-only $30 charge for a can that locks.

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