Is it illegal to dumpster

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Is it illegal to dumpster

If a dumpster is on public property and there is no expectation of privacy, how can ordinances make it illegal? Is there a way around ordinances? Some companies have so much waste; I’m trying to combat the situation and salvage items and occasionally food. I am aware of the Good Samiratan food act.

Asked on January 26, 2019 under Business Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If there is an ordinance against it, it's illegal--period. The government has substantial power to pass ordinances designed to improve public order, safety, and health, and as long as there is a reasonable connection between those things and the ordinance, it will be upheld. Dumpster diving can lead to waste/garbage being strewn out of the dumpster/waste container; it can lead to injury of the person dumpster diving, on sharp or otherwise hazardous material in the garbage; it can expose people to contamination or disease; it can be unsightly and disturb public order. While we not saying that these things will happen, they may--they are possible outcomes. That allows the authorities to regulate or ban it.


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