Curbside scavenging in Dearborn prohibited during flood recovery efforts

Emergency ordinance makes activity a misdemeanor

DEARBORN – The City Council yesterday approved an emergency ordinance that prohibits curbside scavenging of trash in the city.

The ordinance makes it a misdemeanor for people to remove items set at the curb for trash pickup. The punishment is up to a $500 fine and 93 days in jail.

Residents are asked to report scavengers to the police at the non-emergency number of (313) 943-2241 or the anonymous suspicious activity line at (313) 943-3030.

The emergency ordinance will expire in 61 days, unless the council takes further action. The intent at this time is to ban the activity only during flood recovery efforts.

“For health and safety reasons, we can’t have people looking through trash bags and searching through piles of materials that are sometimes five feet high,” Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said. “We really can’t tell what is in the bags, but we know that materials are damaged from the flood, most likely contaminated with sewage. It is just not safe.”

In addition, reports have come in about scavengers creating litter by sorting through materials on curbs. Littering is a misdemeanor.

The anti-scavenging ordinance follows O’Reilly’s declaration of an emergency on Aug. 13. That declaration was extended yesterday as well.