Dallas Says DISD Dumpsters Should Be Fenced

By Kent Chapline and Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News

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.


One Comment

  1. Just Me says:

    Listen to what you are saying. Screened only means hidden from view, There are hundreds of dumpsters that are in three sided enclosures so they are accessable to the trucks without getting out of the truck. If you enclose the units you will add 10 to 15 percent to the cost of trash collection, money that DISD does not have. When it comes to people in dumpsters, ‘You can’t fix stupid”

  2. John says:

    “Just Me” said it perfectly…..end of discussion

  3. John McLeod says:

    The tone of this story seems to imply that it is the responsibility of a property owner or tenant to keep trespassers out of the trash can. Is that the position of the station? Shouldn’t CBS 11 be taking a message to the homeless that it is dangerous and stupid to sleep in dumpsters? If ever there was a life-lesson that needed to be learned, this would be one of them. “Don’t sleep in a dumpster. It is trespassing; it is stupid and even if you don’t die, you’ll still smell like garbage”
    Come on, Chapline and Lucia. Start looking at stories from a logical perspective.

  4. Lou says:

    Fence them?! First of all, that is ridiculous. I have a better suggestion. Install “SLEEP INSIDE” signs on the dumpsters and get rid of the winos and dope-heads with the rest of the trash.

  5. Ren Bel says:

    I hope the homeless man recovers well. I spoke to different homeless people before and been told numerous times that they rather sleep in the streets than go to shelters or the salvation army because the faculties do not let them drink or do drugs and try to help them gets jobs. The problems is not the dumpsters but the people who climb in them.

  6. JOY says:


Comments are closed.

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