Scrappers take to dumpsters at flooded businesses, are welcomed by owners

Flooding efforts are ongoing due to the Mississippi River rising. (KWQC)
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Three weeks after a temporary Hesco barrier was breached by the Mississippi River, cleanup is well underway for downtown Davenport businesses and a number of them are finding themselves with unexpected help: scrappers.

“We are not concerned,” Maureen Carter with Great River Brewery said. “If they want to go through the dumpster, it is all damaged items from the flood.”

Great River Brewery began cleaning up on Tuesday. In just hours they had filled three dumpers with everything from furniture to drywall. It is a treasure trove for scrappers.

“Let them [take it],” Carter said. “We don’t want it.”

Just down the street at Front Street Brewery, owner Tim Baldwin is also taking advantage of the scrappers who are coming by.

"To some degree, we have been taking advantage of them to eliminate some of the material and not wind up in the construction dumpsters which can cost a lot of money,” Baldwin said.

Despite being welcomed by flooded out businesses, Davenport police say scrapping can sometimes be illegal. Charges usually don’t amount to more than trespass unless a lock is broken or the goal of scrapping is to steal metals and then theft charges could apply.

"We have been keeping the gate locked because we see the trucks coming through the alleys and we don't want things to end up missing that we didn't intend to get rid of,” Baldwin said.

In many cases, police say the items left in a dumpster can be considered abandoned property. Davenport is the only police department in the Quad Cities that said it has had a complaint of scrapping but they do not believe it is related to the flood.

Davenport police said businesses should locate their dumpster in well-lit areas and request lockable dumpsters to deter people from illegally dumping or rummaging through the dumpster.