Sacramento’s Anti-Scavenging Ordinance
Common Recycling Practice a Crime

I n March 2009, Sacramento City Council approved an ordinance amendment to Section 13.10.160 that makes it against the law for anyone to take anything out of a city operated waste receptacle or green waste container. Previously, it was only illegal to take recyclables out of the recycle containers.

This will turn many poor and homeless people into criminals for the mere act of recycling. They may have taken pride for years in their ability to provide for their own needs through their hard, honest work of recycling. Now the city has eliminated this noble profession from our community’s economy. This is the worse time possible for such a restriction, especially in a depressed job market. This practice of recycling and reusing other people’s throwaways not only provides our poorest community members with a meager and necessary survival income, it also is a necessary method of practicing environmental sustainability (also very much needed in our time of global climate change crisis).

Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee opposes this ordinance. Join us in our campaign to protect our rights to reclaim discarded resources by calling SHOC at (916) 442-2156 or visit us online at