Oh.My.Heck, people! Let the poor homeless take what you throw away! Are we so cruel that we would begrudge people our trash?
The locks are being tested at the request of residents who lobbied for city protection from the homeless, who were raiding their trash and recycling bins for items with refund value. To be sure, this kind of dumpster diving (or bin burgling) is a nuisance. Residents complain of frightening early morning encounters with homeless men near their driveways or of being awakened at night by barking dogs and the loud clanks of glass bottles.
What’s more, bin burgling can have a small but real cost, which is why it’s considered a crime in most cities. Santa Ana contracts with hauler Waste Management, which profits from the recyclables it collects. The “theft” of these items comes at the expense of the contractor rather than the city, but if the losses are significant, it could result in higher trash rates for residents. Waste Management is covering the expense of the new bins, which might be placed at homes in other parts of the city if the test is successful.
Oh no! You can’t have the residents encountering the homeless, what will they do? How about promising to set aside your bottles and cans so that they don’t have to face arrest for going through their trash? How about helping just a little those who have fallen on hard times?