The ever-so-liberal folks in Minneapolis have their knickers in a twist because “Alley Trawlers” are regularly haunting neighborhood trash bins to glean salvageable junk. Apparently this activity is prohibited by local city ordinance.
Why in the heck is this a Bad–nay Prohibited–Thing? In the 30+ years I’ve lived in the South (San Antonio and Montgomery), trash gleaning has been a standard practice. Fellows with a pickup, free time, and little gumption gather up old furniture, scrap metal, repairable appliances, and firewood-ready tree trimmings to a make a buck. And that’s often a buck they can’t find from a ready job. They’re welcome to it; they’re the original recyclers, reducing the amount of stuff pushed into my city’s landfill, and squeezing out a profit from materials that would cost me money to dispose of otherwise. Most Southern folks even separate out their trash so the gleaners don’t need to rummage through the junk mail and coffee grounds and make a mess. And we do this as a convenience to ourselves and a courtesy to the gleaners, without some Officious Little Bureaucrat telling us to use the Color-Coded Bins, like we were a bunch of dull kindergartners.
The City of Minneapolis’ prohibition on trash gleaning is downright wrongheaded. It denies energetic people an opportunity to help in disposing of municipal waste, and it’s just plain stingy and mean.
Be sure to read the comments at the link. Lots of folks seem to agree (way to go, Anna B!).