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Columbia Missouri Ordinance on Dumpster Diving

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According to articles posted to the website of the Columbia Tribune on September 14 and September 16, 2008, a new, City of Columbia ordinance was unanimously approved by members of the City Council to allow the taking of black refuse bags and other, comingled recycling bags from curbside or roadside trash bins by anyone seeking others’ trash, regardless of their contents.

Although the ordinance initially included language to cover any type of refuse bag or container because of identity theft concerns, the ordinance was narrowed down to include only the city’s blue recycling bags, which is a source of revenue for the city.

"The inclusion of trash bags came from the identity theft issue, but I really don’t think that’s a good way to protect people, anyway", the article quotes one city council member. "I wasn’t aware that people went into the black bags at all."

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