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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Police urge awareness of Dumpster diving at UA

    Custodial worker Tomas Gonzalez tosses some trash near Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall yesterday. Dumpster diving may become a problem as students throw away items in preparation of moving out.
    Custodial worker Tomas Gonzalez tosses some trash near Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall yesterday. Dumpster diving may become a problem as students throw away items in preparation of moving out.

    As students begin moving out of their residence halls, the substantial increase in trash may attract “”Dumpster divers”” who police say may be looking for more than just garbage.

    Although the presence of trespassers on campus is a year-round problem police see the most activity during the end of school when students are moving out, said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, University of Arizona Police Department spokesman.

    “”Student’s are getting rid of items they can’t take back home with them,”” Mejia said. “”But to some people, these may be useable items.””

    The hope of finding something valuable in the garbage is the main draw for the “”Dumpster divers,”” but may also invite the possibility of these same people entering the residences looking for something better, Mejia said.

    Some may not see the crime in taking someone’s trash, but Mejia said just because the items are no longer wanted doesn’t allow for someone to take it.

    Secondly, the people are committing a crime by simply entering the Dumpster in the first place.

    “”Dumpster diving involves trespassing on private property,”” Mejia said. “”It’s not the intended use of the Dumpster.””

    If found within the confines of the Dumpster, “”Dumpster divers”” are issued a warning for trespassing and if they return they will be arrested.

    However, Mejia said Dumpsters aren’t the thieves’ only targets.

    “”Every year we run across a situation where property is stolen that was intended to be given to a charitable organization,”” Mejia said.

    If students wish to donate items to charity, Mejia said the best thing to do is physically take the property to the organization. This removes the possibility of someone taking the items and also reassures the students their donations will be put to good use.

    Police aren’t the only ones working to decrease the number of “”Dumpster divers”” on campus.

    Anticipating the increase in trash during both move-in and move-out periods, Facilities Management, in conjunction with Residence Life, add extra Dumpsters and larger recycling bins near residence halls, which has helped lessen the problem over the years.

    “”We try to eliminate the possibility of those folks going into Dumpsters,”” said Chris Kopach, assistant director of Facilities Management.

    Kopach says the increase in trash is “”10-fold”” and is mostly made up of cardboard boxes, which can all be recycled.

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