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Officials may offer more locking trash cans to thwart scavengers

July 26, 2011 |  6:52 am

Trash Costa Mesa officials are considering making trash containers with built-in locks available to more residents as a tool to thwart scavengers.

The Costa Mesa Sanitary District distributed the bins to residents earlier this month as part of a pilot program. Now, because of demand, the district's board of directors will weigh a request for $10,000 to supply residents with more of the scavenger-proof bins.

Residents can lock the bins with keys issued to them by the district. The weight of the trash pops the lid open when a garbage truck's automated arm lifts the bin over the truck.

Nearby Newport Beach has criminalized scavenging; five people have been arrested on such charges since the law was enacted in January.

Both cities' residents have cited concerns about identity theft as a factor in urging that action be taken.

"Scavenging in this general area has been an issue," Jim Fitzpatrick, the vice secretary of the sanitary district, told the Daily Pilot, adding that Costa Mesa hasn't seen any area saturated with requests for locking trash cans.


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-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo credit: Costa Mesa Sanitary District