Kern county sheriff's deputies say dumpster diving is in fact illegal, and it's important to properly dispose of any confidential documents so you wont get your identity stolen.
"Since January 1st, 2013, we responded to 190 calls for service, to the county ordinance, for scavenging, going through someone else's trash," said Kern Co. Sheriff's Senior Deputy Michael Whorf.
Deputies say, it is a violation of a county ordinance and a misdemeanor to dig through someone else's trash. The fines and possible jail time depend on the severity of the situation, and whether or not an officer actually witnesses the dumpster diving.
"You could be cited, you could be arrested, each situation is evaluated individually," said Senior Deputy Whorf.
A $100,000 contract is currently being worked out with the Sheriff's Office to enforce litter laws on local highways.
Bakersfield solid waste employees say it's crucial to shred important documents, and leave your trash can out only on your service day.
"If you're only leaving it out 6AM on your service day, and then after it gets emptied, put it back right away. And that'll eliminate tons of opportunities for these dumpster divers," said Bakersfield's Solid Waste Division's Jessica Felix.
Kern County Sheriff's Deputies encourage you to call them if you see any dumpster diving going on in your neighborhood.
City officials also say they'll be holding a "Make a Difference Day" to take back recyclable items on October 5th.
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