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Old 06-16-2008, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
107 posts, read 604,353 times
Reputation: 56

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Ok my husband and I have been wondering about the new "Freegan" movement for a long time. After watching several shows on NBC and CBS about Freegans (people who dumpster dive, sometimes quit their jobs, live off of the earth, etc.) we decided to try it. One night about two weeks ago we went to our local grocery store after it closed and started going through the produce they threw away. Before you gag and say "Eww gross what type of people are you" know that they put all their produce in a boxes so it does not touch any other trash in the dumpster. Also know that we found EIGHT bags of Romaine lettuce, the kind that are sealed and cut, ten cans of sloppy joe mix, eight chocolate cake mixes, tons of other produce that had hardly any bad in it such as bags of grapes with only two or three bad ones, a case... NINE boxes of Starbucks Frapiccino ice cream bars still frozen. Nothing was wrong with any of this food what so ever. It was clean, packaged, etc. Here's why I'm writing this post. We've done it for two weeks now every few days. We have made sure it was after hours and no one was around or in the parking lot. Last night when we went to a store, not a grocery store, we found some nice STILL GREEN rose bushes that were the kind with the roots wrapped in plastic. We took them. There have been NO SIGNS of "no tresspassing" anywhere, we made sure of this. We were stopped by a cop. I had called on Saturday to the local station and spoke with an officer (won't mention names) and he said as long as it didn't have signs up saying no tresspassing we should be fine. It's a grey area sort of. Well this cop last night who stopped us was obviously on a cop power trip. First off he didn't believe us that we got them out of the dumpster. After putting his male ego aside and getting backup to go check, he started softening up and changed his attitude. But he still said "I can still charge you with theft and tresspassing." I do not believe the theft part. It's legally okay to take trash out of a dumpster as far as I know. But the tresspassing part scares me. So ... does ANYONE, hopefully a lawyer on here or someone current on laws, know if it's illegal to do this if there are no signs up? We do not make a mess, we believe it helps the city dumps to not have as much, it helps us financially and we do not make a mess. Who knows the laws on this? Because I've researched it and cannot find any NEBRASKA laws on it. I'm about to call a lawyer because I'm unwilling to stop doing this with all the awesome food we're finding. Jeez if we had a dog we could have fed him for a couple months on the awesome dog food we found in there, it just had a ripped bag that's all. Opinions?

R
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,329 posts, read 6,290,308 times
Reputation: 1158
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmomof3 View Post
Ok my husband and I have been wondering about the new "Freegan" movement for a long time. After watching several shows on NBC and CBS about Freegans (people who dumpster dive, sometimes quit their jobs, live off of the earth, etc.) we decided to try it. One night about two weeks ago we went to our local grocery store after it closed and started going through the produce they threw away. Before you gag and say "Eww gross what type of people are you" know that they put all their produce in a boxes so it does not touch any other trash in the dumpster. Also know that we found EIGHT bags of Romaine lettuce, the kind that are sealed and cut, ten cans of sloppy joe mix, eight chocolate cake mixes, tons of other produce that had hardly any bad in it such as bags of grapes with only two or three bad ones, a case... NINE boxes of Starbucks Frapiccino ice cream bars still frozen. Nothing was wrong with any of this food what so ever. It was clean, packaged, etc. Here's why I'm writing this post. We've done it for two weeks now every few days. We have made sure it was after hours and no one was around or in the parking lot. Last night when we went to a store, not a grocery store, we found some nice STILL GREEN rose bushes that were the kind with the roots wrapped in plastic. We took them. There have been NO SIGNS of "no tresspassing" anywhere, we made sure of this. We were stopped by a cop. I had called on Saturday to the local station and spoke with an officer (won't mention names) and he said as long as it didn't have signs up saying no tresspassing we should be fine. It's a grey area sort of. Well this cop last night who stopped us was obviously on a cop power trip. First off he didn't believe us that we got them out of the dumpster. After putting his male ego aside and getting backup to go check, he started softening up and changed his attitude. But he still said "I can still charge you with theft and tresspassing." I do not believe the theft part. It's legally okay to take trash out of a dumpster as far as I know. But the tresspassing part scares me. So ... does ANYONE, hopefully a lawyer on here or someone current on laws, know if it's illegal to do this if there are no signs up? We do not make a mess, we believe it helps the city dumps to not have as much, it helps us financially and we do not make a mess. Who knows the laws on this? Because I've researched it and cannot find any NEBRASKA laws on it. I'm about to call a lawyer because I'm unwilling to stop doing this with all the awesome food we're finding. Jeez if we had a dog we could have fed him for a couple months on the awesome dog food we found in there, it just had a ripped bag that's all. Opinions?

R
Hmmmmmm........................, well if the officer you called said that you could if there was not no trespassing signs, and they intended to throw it out with no monetarial gain, it should all be legal, or you could say you were misinformed by an official (the officer you called) in your defense. Besides, would they charge a man for walking across a parking lot of a store? Plus you didnt make a mess, and you did legally take it.

hope it helps
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:47 PM
 
4,669 posts, read 1,656,197 times
Reputation: 409
Most of the stuff I've heard is just don't tick anyone off and it won't be an issue.

Be discreet...and quick. And clean.

Did the cop see you? Or were they called?

Last edited by kdbrich; 06-16-2008 at 09:59 PM..
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
107 posts, read 604,353 times
Reputation: 56
I believe he saw us. We looked often, actually constantly, where we were at. But I believe he must have seen us from the highway. You know how cops are trained to keep an eye out. I'm sure because this particular store has greenhouse stuff out in the open unlocked he has to patrol it often. But he was not in the parking lot when we got there or left even. We have no clue where he came from. I think he was hanging back behind a fast food place next to this store. There aren't any houses right where we were so unless someone called from a car passing on the highway I don't see how/why someone would. I think to be safe I may call a lawyer tomorrow because I don't want to break any laws, but I don't want to quit either. I have small kiddos and care deeply for them. I don't want to end up in jail or with something on my record. Plus my husband is almost done with his MBA, I'd hate for him to get slapped with felony theft or something.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:31 AM
 
26 posts, read 88,492 times
Reputation: 15
I think it's a shame that good things are just thrown out. There should be a place the stores can donate things to so that people can get it without dumpster diving. But if someone got sick then I imagine the store could be held liable.

But let me get this straight......you are willing to hire a lawyer to check if you can legally dumpster dive? Aren't you doing this to save money? Hiring a lawyer certainly won't save. You might as well forget the dumpster diving and buy off the shelves!
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
107 posts, read 604,353 times
Reputation: 56
No I wouldn't hire a lawyer. I know one that gives free consults. He can at least tell me the law on this subject. )
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:19 PM
 
27,549 posts, read 22,892,450 times
Reputation: 7712
I would go and do some research about the laws just in case any police officer decides to harrass you about it. Look up the code and everything.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:23 PM
 
4,669 posts, read 1,656,197 times
Reputation: 409
I know people that work at the Francis House in No. Omaha. They get a ton of food donated...and can always take more. It's a shame that these stores throw it out rather than donate it.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Millard (Southwest Omaha)
39 posts, read 74,585 times
Reputation: 35
Instead of living like a bum, why not try Wal-Mart? Heck, they are even cheaper than Super Saver.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Sandhills
2,177 posts, read 2,192,231 times
Reputation: 2708
If you are on their property after store hours, I would say you are probably considered trespassing. Especially if behind a store where more than likely a dumpster would be located. And it would be sure to rise suspicion with an approaching officer of law. I think the officer was just doing his duty. I do not believe you need to have property posted with signs for it to be considered trespassing. I know you definately do not on agricultural ground.

There is probably a liability issue that comes into this picture also on the store part. If you were to get sick from whatever you recovered in their dumpster, and say it ended up be serious. Or you served this food to a guest and they became ill, found out how you recovered it, not only may they sue you but the store also. You have no control over what other family members might do or guests of yours.

I agree it is a terrible waste what is disposed of on a daily basis, not only by grocery stores, but restuarants as well. And in most cases the food is basically safe for consumption yet. Expiration dates on food packages are there to protect the consumer and stores dispose of products once these are reached. And most still have a shelf life left in them.
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