What is scavenging and how can I report it?
Scavenging is the act of unauthorized persons going through recycling or refuse containers, whether the
containers are located on City or private property.
Like illegal dumping, scavenging is a crime in San Diego, and it
is taken very seriously by the City.
Every year, scavengers steal thousands of dollars in recyclables from the City's
curbside program, which makes the program less cost efficient and ultimately costs taxpayers. To help keep scavengers from
taking your recyclables, place your container out at 7 a.m. in the morning, just before collection, rather than the night
To help stop this crime, the City encourages anyone who encounters a scavenging incident that has already taken
place to report it. If you observe someone scavenging, please take down the following information:
- Date, time and
location of incident
- Description of vehicle and license plate number
- Description of person(s) scavenging
- What items/materials were being scavenged
- Your name and phone number (optional)
the information to the following agencies:
To report scavenging, please submit a Trash/Litter/Recycling Service Request
or contact the Environmental Services Department at 858-694-7000 Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Business Hours, During Weekends, or Holidays
San Diego Police Department
Contact your city representative,
Gary Warren, GWarren@SanDiego.gov
With adequate information and an eyewitness who is willing to testify, the City can and will pursue prosecution.