Man concerned over dumpster divers in FM area

Published: May. 31, 2017 at 2:08 PM CDT
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We've all heard the saying one man's trash is another man's treasure, but a Fargo man is warning people to think twice about what you toss away after finding someone digging through his apartment dumpster. Valley News Live found out if dumpster diving is legal and the importance of protecting yourself.

"I saw a guy on a ten speed bike going through the dumpster with a paper poker," said Aaron Pinske of Fargo.

Pinske says this is not the first time he saw someone digging through the dumpster.

"I thought 'what is he doing in my garbage?'" Pinske recalled when he saw the dumpster diver.

He says he's seen a different man collecting papers out of a dumpster in North Fargo.

"I saw the papers he was grabbing and putting them in his bag, so someone is looking for something in town," stated Pinske.

The homeowner nearby Pinske's dumpster says she has had her garbage rifled through before. She has seen many people rifled the dumpsters too. In fact one time she asked a man what he was looking for. He said cans to cash in on.

Fargo Police say it's illegal to dump things in dumpsters if you don't have permission to use it and legal to grab things out of the garbage. A supreme court ruling in 1988 found that once its in the trash on the boulevard or dumpster you have no expectation of privacy.

Police will go through garbages to find evidence of drugs prior to getting a search warrant.

"I saw that as my property or my information or my secure information," said Pinske.

But for Pinske, he is worried about the information he has thrown away and is taking a new approach getting rid of his sensitive information.

"People are not always secure in what they throw away, a lot of personal information can be in there," said Rechelle Martin of West Fargo.

"I rip everything up of my sons or I have any information on it," said Amber Daugerhty of Moorhead.

Fargo Police say it's illegal to use people's identity and its best for people shred all their important documents.

Now a recent trend on the internet has been Youtube videos of people dumpster diving for make up products at make up chain stores.

Fargo police say you could be charged with trespassing for digging in a dumpster of a store or property because it's private property.

Across the state in Bismarck, there is a law against dumpster diving.

The Bismarck city attorney says Ordnance 8-07-04 makes it unlawful for anyone to take solid waste from someone's property, even during clean-up week. A person is subject to a fine of up to $1000.