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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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