Some Residents of Santa Ana Bearish on Scavengers

scavenger

In an interesting article in the LA Times today, Tony Barboza writes about some residents in the Wilshire Square area of Santa Ana being fed up with people going through their recycle bins.

So much so that they have signed up for a city program that provides them with containers originally built to withstand scavenging bears. Except the locks didn’t quite hold up to bears, but they’re hoping they will withstand a homeless person or two.

Resident Paula Faccou is quoted as saying:

“It just scared the living heck out of me,” said the 67-year-old retiree. “A complete stranger, standing outside. It was very brazen, and that’s pushing it too much. They have told me, ‘What’s your problem, lady? It’s just trash,’ but I pay for trash service. . . . I should decide where it goes.”

I have to say I’m ambivalent about the issue. I’m not sure that I’m cool with people taking something that someone has not intended for them, i.e. recycling that the property owners want the city to take care of, for themselves and their own personal profit. On the other hand, I understand that people are desperate, and you’d have to be fairly desperate to rummage through trashcans to make some money.

So, what you do you think?

photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

5 Comments so far

  1. evan on June 16th, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

    If someone’s going through my trash, as long as they don’t leave stuff they don’t want on the ground–if things are left they way they found them–then who cares? I mean, you’re throwing it out. You consider those objects to be *trash*–something you don’t want anymore. If someone comes along and finds a use for it, and wants to take it, good for them.

    As for recycling, if they want to take it, great. I mean, by taking cans and bottles, those items are still going to be recycled. Someone in a really bad situation makes some money out of it. Good for them.

    “A complete stranger, standing outside. It was very brazen, and that’s pushing it too much. They have told me, ‘What’s your problem, lady? It’s just trash,’ but I pay for trash service. . . . I should decide where it goes.”

    Yeah right. I bet the minute that woman puts stuff in the trash can, she’s stopped thinking about them. I think what she really means is that she doesn’t want to be reminded that there’s poverty not to far from where she lives–not too far from where any of us live–and simply seeing a homeless person or someone desperate enough to be going through someone else’s trash (who might still have a home) offends her.


  2. Gina (oc_gina) on June 16th, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

    Well, I know that some cities use the revenue from recycling. What if the owner wants their things for the city and not for someone’s personal profit?

    Just playing devil’s advocate, here.


  3. evan on June 16th, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

    That’s a good point, one I hadn’t thought of. A snarky reply could be that the people taking revenue from the city for themselves might be making up for the lack of social services spending.


  4. Gina (oc_gina) on June 16th, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

    But doesn’t California have some of the most generous social services spending in the country?

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s partly why we are in the budgeting mess that we are in right now.

    It’s a thorny issue, to be sure.


  5. topburntchef on July 8th, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    I live in Newport Beach and there are people who go through the trash every Monday. It is very annoying because they just throw the trash on the street in order to find the recyclables. When they take the empty cans and bottles for recycling, I have seen them just pour the remainder of the contents back into my garbage can! They also come onto the property which I do not appreciate. If you are going to steal my recyclables out of my garbage please be courteous enough to not trash my trash!



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