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Fairfield, Connecticut

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Name: Robert Sojka


Dumpster Diving is not for everyone to do, but for everybody to watch out. This growing trend can be economical for some yet perilous for others. Dumpster divers do not only gather thrown items left at people’s lawns, but may also climb dumpsters of stores, food establishments and apartments. Others also use the guise of dumpster diving while in truth gathering confidential information from other people’s garbage. Knowing the Laws Most jurisdictions do not consider trash as private property. In California v. Greenwood, the US Supreme Court held that “What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection" and of private rights. So yes, another person can search dumpsters once the garbage leaves the owner’s premises or when it is not “concealed”. Thus and generally, dumpster divers cannot be charged with theft. The states however have varying local laws on dumpster diving. In Connecticut, for instance, legislators approved "An Act Concerning Dumpster Diving" to "stop companies from waging dirty campaigns against competitors - by digging through their trash for trade secrets". Gearing Up Dumpster divers do not go mentally and physically unprepared. They are not disgusted by smelly litters and will gear up with bikes, long poles, hand gloves and protective clothing. Hunting during nighttime requires them to bring flashlights and headlamps. Still, dumpsters are generally dark inside so divers know they have to be equipped with flashlights even during daytime. Planning Where and When Dumpster rentals for apartment buildings and elite college dormitories are the favorites of dumpster divers. At the end of semesters or rental contracts, people move out from these places and leave their belongings behind. Dumpster divers are also after bakeries and markets that are very particular with food freshness and throw goods on a daily basis. After holidays like Christmas and Easter, divers can feast on discarded and out-of-season food. They also keep track of dumpster rentals and roll off services schedules to never miss the dumpsters. Keeping it Ethical Dumpster divers do have work ethics. These include: • Not going behind a fence to reach the dumpster. • Leaving the dumpster cleaner and better than they found it. • Not taking items with confidential information. • Taking only what they can actually use and leaving the rest for other dumpster divers. • Being polite with homeowners, shopkeepers and policemen to avoid confrontation. • Sharing experiences and helping other dumpster divers. Online forums prove that the numbers of dumpster divers are swelling worldwide. In fact, Dumpster Diving is in the mainstream of even the most affluent countries. Physically and online, dumpster divers network with each other to give tips on how to maximize these dumpster rentals and roll off services. Do not be surprised if any of your friend or family is an aspiring or already proud treasure-in-trash hunter.

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