The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 10, 2009
Should it be illegal to scavenge from garbage cans?
As I write this, the Sacramento City Council is hearing from residents on whether the council should approve a proposed ordinance to make it illegal to scavenge from dumpsters and garbage cans in the city.

Sacamento already has a law -- lightly enforced -- that bans people from taking items out of recycling bins. The proposed ordinance would make it illegal to scavenge from "any type of solid waste receptacle."

Just a few minutes ago, the council heard from homeless people and their advocates. They argued that scavenging from dumpsters is a "time-honored" form of recycling and that many people depend on it for income.

What do you think? Should scavenging be made illegal? And could the city possibly enforce such a ban, given that pilfering from recycling bins is rampant all over the city?

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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