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Dallas Says DISD Dumpsters Should Be Fenced

By Kent Chapline and Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News
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The rear of a trash collection truck. (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

The rear of a trash collection truck. (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.com) - The homeless man who got stuck in a Dallas trash dumpster Monday morning should not have been able to get to it.

As we reported Monday, the man became trapped when a trash truck emptied the dumpster.  He had apparently been sleeping in it.

The dumpster, which is on the grounds of Maya Angelou High School in downtown Dallas, sits in plain sight.

We wondered whether the City of Dallas requires fences or barriers around such dumpsters to keep people out.

A spokesman for the company which empties dumpsters for the Dallas Independent School District, Waste Management, told us that fences are not required.  He said the city suggests them, but doesn’t require them.

We called the city’s code enforcement department and were told dumpsters which are within 150 feet of the street must be “screened.”

The dumpsters at the school are definitely within 150 feet of the street.

So we called DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander.  He said the school is exempt from the ordinance because it was built in the 1950s or 1960s and was “grandfathered in.”

Then we talked to Jimmy Martin, who’s the Assistant Director of Code Compliance for Dallas.  Martin says the DISD is breaking the law.  He says the school is not exempt from the ordinance, and that its dumpsters need to be fenced.

Dahlander says the district was already planning to fence the dumpsters at Angelou.  It’s on the list of renovations from the DISD’s 2008 bond issue.

We don’t know when the fences are scheduled to be installed.

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