Social Question

deni's avatar

Why do authorities care about dumpster diving?

Asked by deni (23054points) May 6th, 2010

I can’t understand it. Yesterday was move out day at CU Boulder so naturally it was the biggest dumpster diving day of the year. I personally only do it rarely on occasions such as this, but i’ll tell you, i found some GOOD stuff. a new trash can, a desk lamp, one of those big wrestling belts, sequined glasses, a boot for someone with a broken foot, a suitcase, a whole box of band aids! hello! people are throwing this shit out!

now, the question is, why would a cop give somebody a ticket for this? i know they can and have, and just today in the Boulder paper it talked about how they were going to start watching for it and giving out more tickets. QUESTION: WHY? there is a warning on most dumpsters not to go in or you’re doing it at your own risk. and the last time i heard of someone getting hurt dumpster diving was never. why, if someone wants to traipse around in trash to get something for free, be less wasteful, and save money, would anybody else give a shit? especially the homeless. if they can find clothes or something they really need in a dumpster, why should cops care?

i really am looking for the serious answer, dont they have much, much, much more important things to do? like anything else? i just dont get it.

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10 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know. I don’t see what the problem is with taking someone’s trash. They obviously don’t want it. If you do, what’s the problem?

john65pennington's avatar

In my city, we do not care. we avoid dumpster divers like the plague. if the warning signs are there, we feel that this should enough to cover the stores liability. unless we receive a complaint and the owner is willing to sign a warrant, in my city, we have crime to combat and people to protect. dumpster divers are at the bottom of the list of priorities here.

deni's avatar

@lillycoyote one mans trash is another man’s potpourri! – quoth jim carrey as the grinch

@john65pennington i was hoping to see you here…lol. anyhow, i think thats how it should be. but it struck me as sooo strange that in Boulder, where there are a ton of homeless people, they’re starting to care so much. i would think they’d be glad that the homeless people and dumpster divers weren’t stealing things that werent already set out as trash

lillycoyote's avatar

And in this country we throw away so much stuff that is still useable, and we throw away so much food. That’s what’s criminal, throwing away perfectly good stuff, not the dumpster diving, IMHO.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The biggest thing is liability of the trash haulers. If someone is dumpster diving when they pick up the dumpster, they could end up crushed and dumped in the landfill. As long as it is against the law, the company shouldn’t be held liable for any damages.

Some of those dumpsters are big enough you can’t see into them.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I had always assumed it was just bad for business to have someone going through trash. Also it creates more work when you have to clean up a mess which sometimes is left.

Having said that I do not support this law. I think that people should in fact be able to dumpster dive. There is no legitimate reason the needy shouldn’t be able to take our trash, especially if they are willing to look through it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

The police here really don’t care about dumpster diving…and it’s perfectly legal. In fact, we have several “regulars” that show up at our curb every week… and I certainly don’t mind it, either. I’d much prefer to see stuff go to use than to go to the landfill… so if they can find something in there, more power to them.

myopicvisionary's avatar

Most often, the dumpsters are are private property and therefore you are actually trespassing. Secondly, there is a liability issue for the business owner if you should get hurt on their property. Trash that is set out on the curb is a different story. I do believe it is perfectly okay to take whatever you want.

Silhouette's avatar

They say it’s because the bins are set on private property. I have read a few stories where some poor tweaker was crushed to death after they had fallen asleep in a dumpster. Maybe they are afraid of the liability.

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