Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bob Dunning: Hey, I thought those were MY cans


From page A2 | January 17, 2014 | 4 Comments

OUT WITH THE DOWN AND OUT … according to Dave Ryan’s piece in this very newspaper, our beloved City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to prevent folks from scavenging bottles and cans and old milk jugs from recycle carts on city streets … I guess the Pop Bottle Battalion will be coming around to cite me as well for aiding and abetting the kind woman who knocked on my front door and politely asked if she could do what is now forbidden by law …

Turns out her 40-hour-a-week job doesn’t pay her nearly enough to live in this town … so she’s doing what she can make ends meet … I’m sure it’s not the most pleasant way to earn a dime … not realizing that the city was about to lower the boom on such undesirable underlings, I said “sure,” have at it … last time I checked, those were my bottles and cans and I can do with them as I please …

If putting them in the large can that I roll out to the street somehow transfers ownership to the city or to DWR, then the next time I’ll leave them on the porch in a large cardboard box … her life is hard enough without folks treating her like a common criminal … as I understand it, a first infraction costs $100, which the scavenger may pay in cash or with 10,242 crushed Diet Pepsi cans …

WASTE NOT … seems the city is bound and determined to have us all start putting our “yard waste” in handy curbside carts instead of piling it up in the street as Jerome C. Davis and Cal Covell did … one of the reasons cited is that Davis is one of only three cities in California that still collects yard waste in piles on the street … so, the city that is always bragging about being the first in this and the world leader in that has now decided it’s time to play follow the leader … I, for one, will miss hearing the Jaws of Death rumble down the street in the early Tuesday morning darkness … certainly more reliable than my balky alarm clock …

CRASH KROVOZA … another reason cited for going to carts for yard waste is the fact that our dear mayor crashed into a pile of grass clippings one night … a couple of solutions come to mind, given that if you crash into grass clippings you’re probably also at high risk for crashing into a yard waste cart as well … first, watch where you’re going … second, don’t ride a bike at night … third, wear a crash helmet and knee pads … fortunately, the mayor lived to tell the tale, but he’s still having trouble getting the grass stains off his sandals …

NO NINERS TICKETS … turns out the ornery folks in Seattle are so concerned about home-field advantage for Sunday’s playoff game against the 49ers that they’re refusing to process ticket requests originating from California … so call your brother-in-law in Billings and have him do the dirty deed for you … besides, as I understand it, the game will be televised … as any football fan knows, the best seat in the house is in your own living room …

WEATHER OR NOT … I was listening to a self-promotional ad for KFBK yesterday afternoon in which a woman exclaims that with the kids playing outside she relies on KFBK to tell her if those clouds overhead will merely provide a sprinkle or might actually turn into a tornado … hey Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas any more … imagine, with everything a California parent has to worry about these days, I guess we can add tornadoes to the list …

— Reach Bob Dunning at


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Debra DeAngeloJanuary 17, 2014 - 7:07 am

    WOW... Illegal to scavenge for cans and bottles? When I see people doing that here in Winters, it's a "There but for the grace of God(dess) go I" moment. I wonder what it's like to be that desperate that I might resort to do this in order to buy food. Maybe it would be easier to cut to the chase and just make it illegal to be poor in Davis.

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  • Jim LeonardJanuary 17, 2014 - 8:01 am

    Davis is becoming a more difficult place to be poor all the time. This absurd focus on scavengers is but one example. Yet the City Council is always giving awards to citizens groups for helping the poor; I think a more truthful award would their giving awards to themselves for appearing to care.

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  • January 17, 2014 - 8:20 am

    The ordinance is more targeted at the organized scavengers who are stealing from DWR and some have records for identity theft. Remember, next to that cans bin is the paper bin where mail and other personal papers can be easily accessed. From the Enterprise: "The new rule targets organized scavengers, who pull up in front of Davis homes in flatbed trucks and go from cart to cart scavenging for recycling, often going through trash in the process. The scavenging hurts Davis Waste Removal ratepayers, because the recycling program is paid for in part by money DWR recoups from recyclables. City staff also said Tuesday that many of the scavengers contacted by police also had records as identity thieves, meaning they’re sorting through our trash as well."

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  • DougJanuary 17, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    This new law actually targets organized scavengers with criminal records. But, quite frankly, I don't like anyone stealing recyclables from our cans. This is money that could be going to help our city and its dire finances. I'm sure there are a handful of individuals stealing our cans and bottles who have convincing stories of desperation. And people like Mr. Dunning should simply give his recyclables directly to them or just donate money to them, if he feels that strongly. Otherwise, I'm not in favor of encouraging a climate a lawlessness in our town, just to appease the concience of a few misguided bleeding hearts.

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