Kellene Stockwell
Channel 2 News
 

Are you looking through trash cans or dumpsters in the search for a hidden treasure or maybe a bite to eat?

The Reno City Council is looking into whether or not it's legal to dumpster dive.

In 1988 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled curbside trash is public property and police can go through it without a search warrant.

But Waste Management officials say in Reno and Washoe County, once your trash gets to the curb, it becomes their property through a signed agreement. "My issue is with the people who come onto our properties, rip open our garbage bags, throw garbage everywhere, when asked to stop, become confrontational," says Debbie Bender.

Bender's concerned about identity theft.

The dumpster diving advocates we spoke with say they don't go onto private property or search for people's personal information.

The city attorney says it will look into what's legal and what isn't when it comes to digging in someone else's trash.

Waste Management says the city has an ordinance already in place against the theft of recyclables which it says is a misdemeanor.  

Are you looking through trash cans or dumpsters in the search for a hidden treasure or maybe a bite to eat?