In Sacramento, One Man's Trash Might No Longer be a Treasure

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sacramento currently prohibits foraging in recycling bins.  But on Tuesday, a city council committee approved a measure to extend that ban to garbage and yard waste.  Councilman Steve Cohn says it’s necessary.
Cohn: “With identity theft proliferating now, it is a real safety issue to have people scavenging in even your trash, let alone recycling.”
But advocates for the poor and homeless disagree.  Joan Burke with Loaves and Fishes says identity theft is already illegal – and this measure would hurt people who just want to find cans and bottles to make a few bucks.
Burke: “If somebody is so poor and so desperate that they need to go through garbage to try to find a source of income, I don’t know that we really want to criminalize such an action.”
The measure now moves to the full city council.