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Garbage pickers a weekly issue in Avondale

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Updated: 7/15/2013 6:50 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- They're going on your property, digging through your stuff and taking whatever they fancy.

It's something folks in Avondale told Action News they've just gotten used to because nothing is being done about it.

The saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. No one knows that better than Chris Carney.

"It's definitely an uneasy feeling at 6:30 in the morning when you're getting ready for work and you see people going through your trash," he said.

Every week, like clockwork, Carney said the junk he's brought to the curb for the garage man becomes a shopping opportunity for a string of garbage pickers.

"At first I was like, 'Who's this guy going through my garbage.' And I actually confronted one of the guys," Carney said.


Carney said they stay in the street as they're searching through his trash, but that's not always the case. Action News cameras caught one man coming onto one apartment's property. And moments later, we captured video of him going into this carport to check the bins there.

Action News reached out to the city to find out if that's legal. According to the Solid Waste Division, garbage set on the curb becomes city property. But perusing by "scrappers" or "junk collectors" is prohibited and illegal.

Carney said his biggest concern is his personal information right there at the fingertips of a stranger.

"Sometimes you throw away your bills and not even noticing, your JEA bills, your Comcast bills, things like that and they have at least your name, your address, God forbid your Social Security number," he said.

He said he's realized nothing is stopping them, even though the city says it's illegal. So he's changed his habits to ensure the safety of his family.

"I definitely make an effort to maybe be outside and have eyes on em just to say, because you don't know who these people are and they're going through your property," Carney said.

The Solid Waste Division told Action News they do have inspectors who can go inspect if you have a concern.

The Solid Waste Division says if you notice a problem in your neighborhood, you can call JSO's non-emergency number 630-0500.

JSO added if the garbage picker is on your property, it is the property owner's responsibility to enforce and have them trespassed.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

king kaos - 7/16/2013 11:06 AM
0 Votes
We had an unfortunate incident in our neighborhood this week when a garbage pciker got all excited about a large pile of crap from a family moving, was staring at it while still driving and hit and killed my neighbors dog. The neighbor was talking to the people who were moving out(they lived across the street from one another) and he had his family with him(wife and son) who could have just as easily got hit by this idiot. So fine, if you want to come and pick through dirty diapers thats fine, just pick it up, but when you are in a neighborhood PAY ATTENTION. Theres kids, dogs, walkers, bikers and everything else all over the place... a metal gas can or old moldy couch isnt going to get up and run away, stop and check it out or move on, dont stare at it longingly like you are seeing the love of your life for the first time! WTF is wrong wtih some people???

RiversideMom - 7/16/2013 12:19 AM
0 Votes
I'd rather something get a new chance at life vs contributing to the landfill. I also look at it to be a service. When we are ready to get rid of furniture or whatever, we just haul it to the curb and it disappears within hours. The person who gathers it has the onus of selling it so I think they are earning the value of what they pick.

ActionJacks - 7/15/2013 8:37 PM
1 Vote
It's usually not that big of a deal. I've lived in Riverside/Avondale for 10 years and am just used to the pickers. Generally, I feel they provide a service. So much so, that if I throw out something I feel is of use, I'll keep it separate from my normal trash. I've never had anyone actually go through my trash cans, or open trash bags. Usually they want recyclable metals, appliances, furniture, etc. Not garbage. And if you're concerned about identity theft (i.e. throwing out bills, etc.), then you should simply be more conscientious of where you're putting those sort of items or pick up a cheap shredder and use it. All of that said, I would certainly feel otherwise if I had people actually trespassing such as in the video. But if it's on the curb, and the pickers aren't making a mess, it's fair game as far as I'm concerned.

Gunny48 - 7/15/2013 6:21 PM
0 Votes
Probably with NSA....

whosaysnocan - 7/15/2013 6:07 PM
1 Vote
Before our area received the huge garbage/recycle bins, I found that when I put the blue recycle bin out, the cans removed and the paper was on the ground. I watched one morning caught some guy and came blazing out of the door hollering at him. Freaked him out, dropped the cans, jumped in his truck and was gone. We stopped recycling at that point. We started again when the huge bins were started. It would take a lot to dig through it. I have observed some that cruise the street in search of whatever they can salvage. But again the huge bins make it close to impossible.
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