Friday, May 11, 2012


Wednesday mornings are garbage and recycling days in our neighborhood. Most of us roll out our garbage cans and recycling bins on Tuesday night so they will be at the curb when the trucks rumble through early the next day. This makes for an interesting phenomenon:  clandestine garbage can stuffing.

That is -- your neighbor surreptitiously cramming his/her trash into your garbage.

Because of the dog I generally make one last "business" trip outside just before going to bed at night. And of course there is Indy's early morning walk. On occasion I've discovered unfamiliar trash bags in our garbage during these outings. These events occurred most frequently in the past when teenaged boys lived close by. Junior is charged with taking out the trash, the family's oversized garbage can is full, so he bestows it upon an unsuspecting neighbor. Since my mother and I don't normally fill our garbage can there is usually a little extra room to accommodate our neighbors.

Usually I'm a little miffed when I find a neighbor has placed their c*** in our garbage can. But if the addition isn't sufficient for an extra charge, what's the big deal?

I was ticked off several years ago when someone jammed styrofoam blocks into our garbage can. These shouldn't go into the landfill. They should be dropped off during our garbage carrier/recycler's annual recycling day for items not collected curbside. Our neighbor's laziness placed the responsibility on us to store the blocks until they could be recycled months later.

I hadn't noticed any clandestine garbage can stuffing for ages until a couple of days ago. It could be because the family with the teenage boys I suspected of stuffing our garbage moved away several years ago. Or because Indy and I usually emerge after the garbage has been picked up. However, on our return home this week following Indy's Wednesday morning walk I deposited the poop bag in our garbage can at the curb where I discovered a plastic trash bag of a type we don't have. I looked up and down the street and noticed an identical trash bag in a garbage can so overstuffed that the lid wouldn't close. Not a neighbor one would associate with nefarious activity. I wonder...?

I'm not exactly clear about the etiquette of garbage. I know I'm tempted to drop our poop bag in the nearest garbage can when walking Indy on Wednesday mornings. But I tote it home for deposit in our own trash.

Is your trash your responsibility? Or is it acceptable to foist it off on your neighbor whose garbage can still has a little room?


1 comment:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

My feeling is that you are paying for the service, and anyone who needs to use your service should ask. The guys who painted my house kept leaving their garbage in my can each day, which was poor timing for me, because we were cleaning out our house getting ready to move and needed every square inch or trash bin space.

When my mother passed away, I gave a neighbor some very expensive power tools in exchange for him to take out the trash each week. I had a pile of unsellable items in the garage. He and I asked each of the neighbors if they have some spare room in their trash bins each week, and if so, can we put a little of my mother's stuff in there once they've filled it and taken it to the curb. Everyone was happy to help, simply because we asked.