Wednesday, February 25, 2009

on dumpster diving :: a response

This is an excerpt from an email I received this morning.  If you're confused, read this.

Section 20-25 of the City Code prohibits scavenging from dumpsters and toters that are brought to the curb for collection. However, we have not actively enforced this code except in cases where the person makes a mess in the public right of way.

From our perspective whatever we lose from scavenging is more than offset by what we save in reduced collection and disposal costs.

So, it's technically against the law, but the lawmen appreciate those who break it because it saves them money.  Am I interpreting that correctly?


Elliot said...

sounds right to me.

ah, the inconsistencies of governments.

i say... just don't trespass and you're all set, doing everyone a favor!


Jon S said...

This certainly raises an interesting moral question. Should you break the law when the lawmakers want you to? I think a decent parallel would be speeding in some cases. Driving the limit (or slightly below!) would actually hold up traffic and create unnecessary congestion. (Also the drivers behind you will get frustrated.)

Maybe you could go with the 'Spirit of the Law' argument. Speed limit laws exist to keep people safe. As long as your speed does not endanger anyone it should be ok. I'm not sure I would actually go by this but it has some merit.

Elliot said...

Good point, Jon. That's the general rule of thumb I go by when speeding.

Actually, there's a funny video of a group of people who actually teamed up and drove next to each other at 55 MPH in downtown Atlanta. They ticked one guy off so much he passed on the shoulder and broke a mirror off his own van in the process!

There's definitely a "spirit" to every law that's more important.

Matt Marsh said...

i think jon is right. alot of it i would chalk up to "spirit of the law", but i would also consider the way you are going about things.

i have been caught a few times and the issue was always trespassing, not diving. looking back, alot of this was probably a function of the situation - i was a teen guy doing itlate at night. they were probably suspecting/worried about other potential shenanigans.

Tim said...

That response confirms what I thought. Just don't make a mess or violate other people's property (like trespass), and you probably would not get into trouble. But it is still technically illegal.

Moses said...

Going back to Romans 13:1-5.
It seems that these verses ask that we submit to the governing authorities, not necessarily (or exactly) their laws. If the governing authorities are saying that its OK, then I don't think that there is any real problem here. Particularly in defying what the Word says.