Garbage Men: Are They Taking Your Trash Or Your Privacy?

by Mickey Huff
Published: Last Updated on

Garbage Men: Are They Taking Your Trash Or Your Privacy?

In a recent article done by Popular Mechanics, it has been estimated that since 2001 the rate of garbage men in the United States has gone up to around 300 thousand. Companies like Waste Management and Republic Services have teamed up with police forces and have created a program in which officers train the workers to “look out for you”. Police claim that because garbage men have a scheduled route every day, they know the community better and will be able to identify when something or someone is suspicious of any event. When a driver sees any type of emergency situation or suspicious activity, they are relied on to contact authorities immediately. Police in San Jose California have also been considering applying license plate readers to every garbage truck in the city. This will allow garbage men to record the license plate of every single car that drives in front of them and be sent directly to the police department for their use. This way, officers claim they will be able to identify when a vehicle is stolen or is being searched for. Apart from this, garbage men and women have the right to go through your trash and see exactly what it is you are throwing out. It was reported in Seattle that a major “waste war” has gone uproar because disposal workers will act as trash police and go through garbage to see whether people are recycling or not, and if they are not their trash bins are tagged and the residents are fined. This article focuses on finding out exactly what garbage men and police officers have been teaming up to do and how much of it is morally correct.


“Police/DHS Are Using 200,000 Garbage Trucks and Possibly 300K People to Spy on Americans,” Blacklisted NewsOctober 24, 2015.

Student Researcher: Maria E. Madrigal, Indian River State College

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph. D, Indian River State College