City workers as freegans -- why not?

I have to get my hands on the Redding city policy that prohibits transfer station employees from scavenging dumped crap.

More than two dozen city employees are in deep yogurt for doing just that.

Sure, city employees should obey the rules. But the rules should make sense. If Dweeb A discards a hot tub or a bookcase or a pair of pliers, why shouldn't Dweeb B have the use of it?

I don't get it. Is there a pecking order for scavenger dibs? Is that the violation? Who is harmed, exactly?

There must be a piece of the puzzle missing. Ragpicking shouldn't be illegal. It's good public policy -- also known as recycling.


  1. Interesting timing on City scavengers blog! Wanted to share my recent and previous experience at the Transfer Station with you:

    This past Saturday afternoon I visited the Transfer Station with scrap metal and other crap for dumping. At the recycling area, the City employee thought some of my metal was stainless steel vs. sheet metal and asked me to lay it on the ground rather than toss up and over the dumpster wall.

    My response, knowing that guys like rectangular sheets of metal for workbench tops, etc., was "Are you taking it for yourself?" His response, "No!"

    If you are not aware, items left in the recycling area (i.e. bikes, outdoor furniture, lawn mowers, you name it, etc.) are auctioned off monthly. Reason I know is, a couple years ago, making another contribution to the Transfer Station, I spotted two TEAK lounge chairs. Been wanting those for some time, and asked, "Are those for sale?" Well, that got me an invite to the monthly bidding war for which two older gentleman that morning taught me the ropes. Anyways, bidding for the teak lounge chairs (one did need major repairs) pricing got up over $85 and common sense took over. Who the heck needs another honey-do project! Buy new ones, Suzanne, lie in the sun today ...

    Not sure where the money from the Transfer Station auction goes, but if employees are limiting the revenue stream for the City, it's a problem :-)

  2. Yeah, Kelly, I kind of thought the same thing when I read about this yesterday. Do they WANT the stuff to end up in the landfill?

  3. innocent bystanderJuly 30, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    From what I hear, third-hand, there's a little more to it than saving the landfill. We're talking about taking stuff out of the dump and back to the retailer & trying to get refunds, which sounds more like fraud than freecycling.

    Again, not exactly from the horse's mouth but something to keep an eye out for.