No More Dumpster Diving

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 10:47am

Nebraska town's new law makes one man's trash another's crime.

You've heard the saying before: "One man's trash is another man's treasure," but Kearney, Nebraska residents beware.

A new ordinance passed by the city council now makes it illegal if you happen to find that treasure in a garbage can.

"It's a shame that good stuff like that gets thrown out that could be used," said Phil Bader.

Bader use to work for a garbage company and has seen his fair share of trash.

"You could always tell when someone's kids got old enough where highchairs, booster seats, stuff like that ended up in the garbage," said Bader.

Sometimes those items didn't make it to the dump, rather back to his house.

"Good stuff, a lot of good stuff you can use," Bader said.

Now Phil and residents of Kearney won't be able to dumpster dive anymore.

This week, the Kearney City Council passed an ordinance banning scavenging in garbage cans.

"I don't know, it seems that maybe it's a law that's going to take up time that really isn't going to affect much," Bader said.

One issue that brought dumpster diving to the forefront was identity theft.

"When I worked for the garbage company, we really didn't think about that stuff, I can understand in that, in today's day and age, if you're putting stuff at the curb that has your identifying stuff on it," said Bader.

For Phil, he didn't have time to go through the trash, rather what was next to the trash.

"Usually what we saw was bigger stuff, piece of furniture, chair, like I said maybe someone puts a highchair out or something that you see," said Bader. "Everything ends up in the trash eventually."

The new ordinance makes digging through someone else's garbage a misdemeanor offense.

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