Atascadero seeking to outlaw dumpster diving

December 9, 2014

bears trashThe Atascadero City Council is scheduled to vote on whether or not to enact an anti-dumpster diving ordinance at Tuesday’s council meeting.

After receiving multiple complaints about people rummaging through dumpsters searching for recyclables, city staff is proposing an anti-scavenging ordinance. If passed, those caught going through trash will have committed an infraction and could receive a ticket.

Nevertheless, a state law already prohibits taking recyclables from recycle containers.

Scavenging, according to the city staff report, leads to loitering, identity theft and trash left on the ground.

Throughout the world, foraging through trash for usable items is usually done because of economic issues. However, dumpster diving is also done by private and public investigators seeking information.

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Had to order a dumpster with a lock on it in Atascadero, the divers kept pulling all the trash out and throwing it on the ground as they looked for recyclables. We also had the weekend dumpers using it more than we did.

Get a hold of the SLO supervisor’s and see if they’ll give every dumpster divers $1,000.00 like they did themselves….problem solved.

So here’s a neat scenario to ponder… we could have the D.A. investigator going through someones trash looking for evidence & he spots the defense attorney for the perp he’s prosecuting (private citizen) going through another trash can and calls the police. The article states “dumpster diving is also done by private and public investigators seeking information”.

I see this law having some enforcement issues.

If the city council passes this — will the cops actually enforce it? And if so: Why would they choose to enforce this law and ignore so many others? And please spare me the ‘understaffed’ ‘underfunded’ bull feces.

thats a funny picture

I am surprised the SLO has not enacted this one to along with there other silly laws that they have passes.

I meant passed.

Well in SLO you can’t see any trashcans because you will get a ticket if you leave them in view. So the homeless can’t find them and if they did the cops won’t see them. AAAAAHAHAHAHAHA

There are issues of public safety here also, resurfacing too quickly can lead to the “Bends” which may be deadly. Yah Gov…on the job right?

The main complaint of residents is not dumpster diving or searching regular trash bins, rather it is rummaging through blue recycling bins on residential streets or on private property. And, the guilty are not not one-off downtrodden folks or PIs. They are full-on teams operating together for the aggregate CRV deposits.

Crews of 2-3 pickups plus a couple guys on foot descend on collection nights and go through every bin on a street, usually between midnight and 4am. They target the blue bins, fish to the bottom, and take bottles and cans, but mostly the cans. They crunch the cans and toss them in large trash bags that go in the truck beds. The other recyclables, like paper and cardboard, just get discarded on the ground.

Two vehicles plus two guys with bags full of cans times every bin in a neighborhood can create quite a racket (pun intended) at 4am. I’ve seen small towns whose legitimate collection are smaller operations than these A-town crews.

But, the underlying issue here is the crews’ occasional violence.

Also, the revenue they take from the garbage company is made up thru increases rates. The redemption value does not cover the cost of curbside pickup of your blue can full of paper, cardboard, plastic, non-beverage metal and glass containers, motor oil…

Seems hypocritical for cities to mandate recycling, then crack down on people who actually do it for the bums who are too lazy to do it themselves.