Atascadero council to finalize dumpster diving ban
January 12, 2015
The Atascadero City Council is expected on Tuesday to place the finishing touches on an ordinance that would prohibit residents and visitors from rummaging through others’ trash.
On Dec. 9, the council unanimously approved the first reading of what city staff has dubbed the “anti-scavenging ordinance.” If adopted, the ordinance will make rummaging through trash cans or dumpsters an infraction, and offenders could receive tickets.
State law already prohibits taking recyclables from recycling containers. But, city staffers say they have received multiple complaints about people rummaging through dumpsters searching for recyclables.
Scavenging can lead to loitering, identity theft and trash left on the ground, according to a staff report.
A person would typically forage through trash due to poverty. However, private and public investigators also dumpster dive in search of information.
If the council gives final approval of the ordinance on Tuesday, the new regulation will take effect on Feb. 12.