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Posted on: September 2, 2015

Dumpster Diving in the City Limits

The City of Greensburg has regulations in place prohibiting dumpster diving in the city limits. According to a 1988 Supreme Court Ruling (California vs. Greenwood), when a person throws something out, that item is now the public domain. Here is some language from that ruling: “It is common knowledge that plastic garbage bags left on or at the side of a public street are readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public.” The City of Greensburg passed an ordinance (Ordinance 4-4-88) in 1988 that prohibited this action in any waste receptacle, regardless of location or contents. “Any person or other entity failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $100. Each day the violation continues shall be considered a separate offense. (City of Greensburg Code of Ordinances § 50.999 PENALTY).

Not only is the individual in question susceptible to this penalty, but the property owner can also be fined. These provisions are in place to protect the citizens of Greensburg from both bodily harm as well as potential legal action.

Property owners are at risk for being held liable for any injuries that may result from anyone participating in this illegal act - regardless of their knowledge of the act.

Dumpster diving is considered trespassing, which is a criminal offense.

For more information on this subject, please download a .pdf of the City of Greensburg’s Code of Ordinances and reference Title V: Public Works, Chapter 50.

Code of Ordinances
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