Monday, December 16, 2013

Dumpster divers...

Bill put out some bulk items this morning that we've been wanting to get rid of.  I told him yesterday that I felt a certain someone would come along and take some of the stuff before the city ever got there to pick it up.  Lo and behold, I was right.

About a half an hour ago, I watched a Hispanic man in a light brown pickup truck stop in front of my house and go through the stuff we left on the curb.  He took about half of it and left the rest behind.  I told Bill and he said, "Well, you sure called it, didn't you?"

I suppose on the surface, there's nothing really wrong with people who go through the trash, though it is kind of creepy actually watching someone rifle through your stuff so boldly in broad daylight.  I guess the guy will either try to sell our stuff or he'll put it in his own home.  Or maybe he'll trade in some of the stuff for money.  Who knows?  Actually, now that I think about it, it appears that he took the metal, which can be sold for scrap.  I told Bill that in the future, we should take our own stuff to the scrap metal place.  That way, we get the money instead of the dumpster divers.

I came across this interesting film on YouTube this morning as I was researching whether or not there is a local law against dumpster diving in the San Antonio area.

It is a good reminder to be very careful about what you throw away, though…  Trash pickers can end up picking up more than just your bulky broken furniture.  That's also a good way to end up the victim of identity theft.

On the other hand, I guess if someone else can use the stuff we throw out, that's not a bad thing.  Recycling is certainly admirable.


  1. When we lived in our last city, my mom was a school district assitant superintendent, and special ed was under her umbrella. i always tried not to get a ride home anywhere but from her. Usually it wasn't even an issue because her work day ended a couple of hours after our school day. Once in awhile she'd have some reason to give me a ride home. Invariably she'd catch some special ed. student she knew in the act of dumpster diving and would feel obligated to fish hom out of the dumpster before he hurt himself. (Regular ed. students were under her domain, too, but she considered them, unless they were seven-year-olds, in possession of sufficient faculties to deal with the consequences. The special ed. students she actually felt sorry for.) Sometimes she'd then load the trash-encrusted kid into the car with me to give him a lift home. Such fond memories . . .

    1. I read that in California, it's against the law to dumpster dive. There's no law in Texas, as far as I can tell.

  2. I don't know if it's a state-wide law or if it's a local jurisdiction sort of thing. My mom was just worried because it's dangerous since just about anything could be in an apartment complex's dumpster.

  3. Seems to me I read it's a state law, though I could be wrong. I know that in certain cities in California, it is very illegal because people rip off recyclables that takes money out of the state budget. I guess the trash companies take out the recyclable stuff and turn it in, which keeps bills down. In some communities, it's really bad because these folks come through with their trucks and grocery carts and go through peoples' trash, leaving a mess.

    I have mixed feelings about the practice. On one hand, I don't mind if something I don't want can be used by someone who does want it. And I guess trash picking does provide an income to people who may not otherwise have one. It's better that some of that stuff gets recycled, too, rather than tossed in a landfill. There are some people that do it as a legitimate profession. On the other hand, I don't like the idea of strangers rifling through my trash, especially in broad daylight. And I can understand why some of these people are considered pests.


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