Nogent Mayor Jacques Jean-Paul Martin said a new law, among other things, bans digging through garbage bins -- what is often called "Dumpster-diving" -- as a means of protecting public health and safety, Radio France Internationale reported Friday.
Martin said the trash bin scavengers are looking for items they can sell.
"These are not people looking for food," he said. "There are structures in place to help people in need."
Communist Party Councilor William Geib said the law unfairly targets the poor and hungry.
"It's clearly a way for the mayor to up the ante," Geib said. "The only thing that needs to be done now is to quite simply ban poverty altogether in Nogent."
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