Last night some dumpster divers came by the place where I work. We informed them that they could not dive. They asked why, and we gave them the regular litany: obvious liability concerns (broken glass, raw meat juice, slipping hazard, etc.), items we choose to place in the dumpster have already been culled for salvageable, donatable items, some divers leaving the dumpster area trashed in the past, and rudeness and even some physical confrontations with past divers.
We went out to the dumpsters later and found a note. It says:
When you first moved in here, you agreed to Peoples Food Co-op's request that all salvageable food products remain outside of dumpsters. Please respect that. Mad Loving Expectations, PAX.
Well, PAX, we do regularly cull salvageable food items rather than just sending them to the landfill. We have a list of worthy organizations that come by on a regular basis to collect these items, including Food Not Bombs, Generous Ventures, and Migrant Laborer Support. Volunteers for these and other organizations come by daily to collect these donations. Meanwhile, food itesm that we have determined are not salvageable are sent to the dumpsters. During the course of the day, some food items are available back by our receiving area, and in the past, if you asked politely, we would always happy to let folks go through them. Unfortunately, our friendliness has been taken for granted, and the well has dried up.
PAX, we never agreed to the above request, which makes it sound as if salvageable food items from our dumpsters will find their way to the shelves at Peoples (I know this cannot be, as I am a regular shopper and big-time fan of the Co-op--you must be a Peoples staffer, PAX, albeit an ignorant one who should know better than to cite your workplace in connection with the trashcans of another business). My guess is that for some reason, you feel "entitled" to salvaged items. You are not. I would much rather know that our salvaged food items are feeding the homeless, the destitute, or back-busting migrant laborers instead of somebody who thinks s/he's too hip for food stamps.
The result of this note being left on our dumpsters is that they will now be locked at night. good job, PAX! You just ruined it for everybody!