Thursday, February 26, 2009

Trash? Treasure? Dumpster diving issue explored, to be voted on.

Kudos to SHOC for this item in the new [2/26] SN&R ...

An article in SN&R, titled "Trash or treasure?: Sacramento City Council considers ban on Dumpster diving" nicely gets into the back-and-forth on an ordiance revision that will be voted on on March 3 that would further outlaw dumpster diving.

The case FOR the revision is pretty much this:
According to a staff report prepared by the solid-waste division, the revision was proposed in response to increased scavenging, a practice the report says causes littering, attracts animals and pests, leads to the theft of recyclable material and identity theft.

Criminalizing the act benefits public health and safety while preventing crime, states the report.

The case AGAINST the revision is pretty well stated here:
Local community activist Davida Douglas questioned the wisdom of the ordinance, considering that the vast majority of people rifling through garbage reclaim reusable or recyclable items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. In household trash, she’s found dish drainers, clothing, toasters and other small appliances.

“When I first moved to Sacramento, I was unable to secure a full-time job,” Douglas said. “Probably about 50 percent of the food I ate came from Dumpsters. It allowed me to have enough money to continue paying my rent and prevented me from becoming homeless.”
SacHo is not happy about people eating from dumpsters; unless you are very adept at it, you can end up being pretty sick. But the reality today is that a fast-increasing number of people are becoming desperate in this economy. This is no time to push more pain on the most-deperate among us. Mayor, city council members: Vote NO on the ordinance revision.
Update 2/27/09: Here's the Agenda for the 3/3/09 city council meeting. Note that the scavenging ordinance revision is item #14.

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