Nary a Santa Monica resident is unaware of or unaffected by the Dumpster diving and trash container searching engaged throughout our neighborhoods and business districts (“One man’s trash is not another man’s treasure,” Aug. 16). It’s all well and good that City Hall’s responsible departments (police, public works, etc.) have taken various laissez-faire approaches that work for them, but they do so at the expense of us residents. Alley noise and littering make residential units abutting those areas greatly compromised living spaces.

Repulsed from observing the activities of those scavenging through our trash, I have taken to isolating the recyclables in used paper and plastic bags and putting them next to or hanging them from the Dumpsters. They disappear usually within minutes, hours at most. It seems the least we can do to facilitate the process and quiet it for the neighbors at the same time. In business districts many of us already leave our empty recyclable containers on top of the trash bins, rather than in them, also alleviating the need for motivated folks to search through them.

Now that I see that City Hall really doesn’t care much about the lost income, and regardless, is unwilling to effectively discourage and police it, I suggest others consider doing the same.

As our public servants struggle with how best to support those most in need, perhaps a little recyclable sorting on our part would streamline and quiet the process at the same time. Worth considering?


M. Burk

Santa Monica

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