People Break Down Which Things Are Moral Yet Illegal
Rizkyta Putri on Unsplash

Despite people's good intentions, there are things that are perceived as being completely innocent but are actually against the law.


An example of this is retrieving items from the garbage bin–which is primarily used for depositing trash, not meant to help one's cause.

There are other protocols in place meant to help people, and if you're not aware of them and act accordingly, you could find yourself being in violation of rules you had no previous idea about.

Curious to hear more examples of this, Redditor Dr_vinci asked:

"What is moral but illegal?"

These don't hurt people per se, but it throws a wrench in the system.

Doctor's View Of Medicare

"As an American doctor who takes Medicare, I am not allowed to waive fees for procedures or charge a patient less than what our officially set rates are, even if they don’t have insurance. I’m also not allowed to ask a doctor from a different practice what a certain insurance company pays them for a service, as this has been deemed 'anti-trust.'”

– bryantuga

This Stings

"Donating unused insulin to those in need."

– Destroyette

School Lunches

"Cafeteria workers at schools feeding children that don't have money."

– P1nk33

Wasting Is Better Than Charity

"Grabbing thrown out food from a groceries shop's dumpster."

– Clouddancerr

Recyclables In Japan

"In Japan? Recycling someone's garbage without permission. Touching their garbage at all. You could use a discarded couch and save it from the garbage dump, but be arrested for it."

– InvisibleMe21

Garbage Handling in Germany

"Strictly speaking in Germany too. The garbage is the can's owners property until it is picked up, at that point it becomes the waste management company's property. It's not a free-for-all once it's at the curb."

"If there's something you want from the garbage, just ask the owners. Usually you can have it."

– HermitAndHound

The world of retail had plenty of people scratching their heads.

Closing Out The Store

"I was store manager during the closing of a retail store. I was given permission to set my own prices (within limits) but they didn’t say I couldn’t layer employee discount on top. So my employees were getting $500 items for like $40, and all floor models and displays were 'damaged out' and just went home with people for free."

– Sh**tingmytrewes

Dumpster Diving

"Grabbing thrown out clothes from clothing stores/furniture/appliances, brand new stuff that just didn’t sell or was out of season. Truly wasteful and probably a terrible. My mom used to drive behind strip malls with me as a kid and we’d find all sorts of good stuff, Pier 1 Imports used to have some good stuff, so did Burlington Coat Factory."

– All_Usernames_Tooken

Damaging The Goods

"I worked retail and was instructed to damage the clothes before bagging and trashing. I pretended to damage, bagged them, damaged the top few and had a coworker pick them up after work to donate to a shelter."

– JustGiraffable

These rules of the road didn't make sense for Redditors.

Keeping The Roads Safe

"Sleeping in your car when your too drunk to drive."

– Yuaskin

Helping Others

"Paying for other people's parking meters."

– Tink2013

"Local ordinance all over the US forbid strangers for putting money in other people's meters. The locality would rather get parking ticket money."

– Tink2013

Here's The Key

"My friend caught a DWI charge (and somehow beat it) for sleeping one off in his car rather than driving home. Now he does it all the time in the warmer months but he locks his keys in his trunk and he's been woken up and harassed for it but where we live, they can't really give him too much grief because the keys aren't in the cabin."

– ebimbib

The next time you go dumpster diving to look for something you consider a treasure–depending on where you are–beware.

At least in the state of California, the act of scavenging is against the law because you are "stealing" items meant for a city-approved recycling company–basically an entity other than yourself–even if it's in the bin.

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