In a recent paper, a letter writer suggested that homeless shelters would curb the dumpster divers that he sees on his way to work every day. I am going to tell you that will not work. I know a couple of different individuals who pick bottles. They have a home, so providing more shelters will not stop these individuals from picking bottles. This is their "profession." It is dirty and dangerous work. These people risk being stuck by used hypodermic needles as well as being attacked by wild animals that are also rooting through the garbage. However certain individuals love this type of activity as unpleasant as it is to the rest of us.

I once lived next door to a bottle picker/dumpster diver. This individual was cooking something one day and he asked me over to check to see if the milk he was using was still good. The stench coming from his apartment was such that I told him that I could not be sure, but that I would get rid of it. For many years, I lived in fear that this individual would bring vermin back to his apartment and that eventually these pests would infest my apartment.

The bottom line is that a homeless shelter will not stop this type of activity especially if they already have a home. A homeless shelter might be beneficial, but in this case it will not cure the problem in the least.


Ron Hemenway


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