I tried to follow the rules for Fargo's Cleanup Week, though because I was going to be gone over the weekend I had to set my garbage out Friday afternoon for my Monday pick up.

Because of a recent death in the family, there was 39 years of built up trash. I had everything sorted and separated, I had the small items in stacked taped shut boxes. I was happy to see the scavengers come Friday evening and get the larger pieces of styrofoam sheets and a roll of chain link fence and a gate - I didn't really want to see those go to the dump anyway.

I wasn't quite as happy when one scavenger cut the tape and opened all the boxes, but he explained the police had told him he was allowed to do that, and he did replace the boxes in their stack. But to my despair Saturday morning I found the overnight scavengers hadn't been as respectful - they'd overturned ALL the boxes and dumped the contents on the boulevard. There was very little of value in those boxes so most everything was still there for me to pick up. Which I did, and then placed the bag in my regular garbage container for the weekly pick up.

It was hard enough packing up the belongings of my dead partner the first time, having to pick them up as garbage all over my boulevard brought on another round of tears.

Scavengers, please be respectful and don't let your search for free treasures override your common sense. At least leave items in the condition you found them.

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Norheim lives in Fargo.