Freegan – as seen on Oprah

Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Freegan – as seen on Oprah

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      I was just pointing out that the police can
      take things from your trash without a warrant because you’ve basically
      relinquished rights to it once you’ve thrown it away. Just like if you
      throw a kleenex on the sidewalk they can then use that for DNA testing
      etc. Because you threw it away and no longer have expectations of
      privacy etc. That’s why throwing away anything with personal info is
      hazardous. Once it’s in the trash people can forage for it and not a
      lot would be done about it until they’d actually used the info. If
      someone gets in your trash that is placed on the curb… IF they make a
      mess they might get in trouble for littering… but not for stealing.
      IF they damaged your trash cans then they might get in trouble for
      property damage. But I honestly don’t think they’d be charged with
      stealing. Most DUMPSTERS remain on your property close to your
      dwelling or business. That is different than placing your trash cans
      at the curb. But still, even dumpster divers would probably only be
      charged with trespass not with stealing.

      Some research I found on dumpster diving:


      In 1988 the US Supreme Court ruled that trash-picking is legal. But
      even before that, there are centuries-old president laws going back to
      Jolly Old England that establish as a veritable “right” for scavengers
      to obtain and keep or sell anything they find in the trash.

      Exceptions
      are when dumpsters are locked, are inside gates, or posted
      no trespassing, or when there specific municiple restrictions which
      would regard it as theft to remove material from recycle bins as
      distinct from trash dumpsters of mixed refuse.

      By &
      large when it’s in the trash, it’s fair game, whether you’re
      the cops going through the trash looking for evidence without a search
      warrant (in most cases, they don’t need a search warrant), a crazy nosy
      neighbor reading then posting on the web someone’s discarded
      correspondence (no legal right to privacy if it is thrown in the trash,
      though some copyright protections to reproducing or “publishing” it
      might apply), a hungry homeless guy looking for pizza rinds, a
      craftperson looking for weird junk to weld together into “art”, a junk
      dealer looking for salable freebies, a major recycling company
      contracting with the city or county but not
      with whomever threw out the garbage, or a dumpster-diving hobbyist,
      such as a gardener, salvaging thrown-out potted plants or burst-open
      compost bags from behind a Walmart or Home Depot or from a compost heap
      at the cemetery.

      The illegal part would be depositing your own trash in someone else’s
      dumpster; circumventing a lock; or leaving a mess. When trash is on the
      curb or alley, there is not even a trespassing issue, but on business
      tarmacks or parking lots the issue of trespassing can become clouded,
      though if legal access is generally permitted for customers, so too it
      is for dumpster divers.

      Garbage left on a property that does not permit general access is
      illegal to take — that worn out couch on the curb you can take, but
      when it was still sitting on the front lawn getting rained on and
      moldy, it remained the home owner’s personal possession. There are also
      “intellectual property” issues. For instance, if I throw out a
      manuscript for an original short story and you find it, the
      manuscript is yours, but you can’t publish it; or if you find a
      computer hard drive, it’s yours, but the software on it might not be
      legally transferable; and so on.

      Most dumpster diving is behind retail shops. The restriction (with
      exceptions) is usually a lock, not a law. No lock, no prohibition.
      Dumpster diving has become so common, though, that some cities feel the
      need to regulate diving, as sometimes guys with big trucks drive
      through alleys getting recyclables & whatnot, & sometimes bums
      leave nuisance calling-cards like all the black plastic bags ripped
      open and scattered about a parking area. A few states or cities are
      mostly concerned with dumpster diving only for the
      sake of taxing such microbusinesses which scrounge and sell enough
      stuff to make a living, who often fall underneath the radar of taxing
      authorities. “

      ~
      Candi ~

      Karen Pierce wrote:

      I agree you
      shouldn’t throw sensitive stuff out in the trash. But bottom line is
      that if it is on your property and someone takes something off your
      property, they are stealing. Your property is your property. If you
      don’t mind someone taking something off your property, of course you
      wouldn’t get the police involved.

      But if you
      do NOT want anyone going through your trash and they DO, you do have
      the right to get the police involved, as that person is trespassing on
      your property.

      As I
      mentioned, this was an extreme example. I’m just pointing out that any
      company’s dumpster is NOT public domain and they do have the right to
      keep people OUT of their dumpsters.

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Freegan – as seen on Oprah