'Neighbors' are throwing trash onto my property!

Beth ParsonsJanuary 7, 2008

I live on 6 acres in what was a once pretty rural area. Over the past few years, farmland has given way to crowded subdivisions and we have lots of new transplants to the area. Fortunately, the houses are very nice and upscale, although the people living in them certainly are not!

I was walking along our back fence today on a nature hike with my 2 young children. We have 4 homes that back up to our property and at every parcel, the owners have tossed trash (soda bottles, plant tags, grocery bags) and yard waste (limbs, leaves, rocks and even bricks) over the fence onto our property. Of course I can't prove they actually committed the acts and there is no identifying information, but I have pictures of this fence line from when the houses were being and the brush and trash was not there then!

If you were in my shoes, how would you confront the homeowners? My husband is ready to go over and take off some heads and threaten legal action, but I prefer a more subtle approach with hints of establishing a pig farm in our back field with an old dilapidated trailer as their sty if they do not cease littering on our property!

WTH is wrong with people today, anyway?!?

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Be neighborly, send them mail addressed to occupant.
Ask them to keep their eyes open for illegal dumping and offer your apologizes in advance for the pig pin you might need to build if it continues.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 7:44AM
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Call the police. Even if they can't prove it they can approach the neighbours and ask if they have seen anything. This will give the message that you won't tolerate it and that you know who is doing it. Call everytime you see new garbage.

Or you could go at night and throw it back over the fence.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 8:47AM
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First I think you need to put up a sign saying that it's private property and not to use it as a dump (it may seem obvious, but until people are confronted with something like that, they'll act like it's no man's land!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 1:48PM
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I have the same situation.
We moved into a house earlier this year that has a large 2 acre woodlot on the back end of the property. Evidently no one has cared about maintaining it as there was all manner of trash dumped back in there. And believe you me it was a pain to clean it all up.
Anyway, I have since seen lawn debris dumped over a couple of fences. Thankfully nothing anymore like cans or metal scrap, but trash nonetheless. I am sure that over the years they just got used to having a handly landfill.

At any rate I posted 'nice' no dumping signs (with a big PLEASE at the top) then sent letters to occupants at the addresses in question. I nicely said that although the previous owners evidently did not mind we had future plans for the area and asked them to please stop dumping stuff. I included my name and phone number and invited them to call if they wanted to discuss it further- I tried to word it more neighborly than nasty.
Never mind that our 'future plans' are to keep it neatly natural.

So far so good.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 10:54AM
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Get "no dumping" and "no trespassing" signs up up ASAP. In many states, you cannot enforce things like this unless you have signs up stating such.

Take pictures of it all before you clean it up. And document times and dates.

I like joed's suggestions too.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Do you know them at all? Because I would just ask if they've seen anyone trespassing on both of your properties because it seems like someone has been dumping trash. Don't accuse them. My guess is it won't happen again. If it does, then you can take greater steps, including throwing it back (I'll bet at that point they'll realize they need to keep their eyes out for dumpers ;) )

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 8:18PM
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Someone here once posted to a site called Neighbors From H*ll and they have a message board. I have read some of those posts on occasion, some of then are so sad, I don't know how people can stand it. Sheer lunatics for neighbors. Anyway, they've seen it all over there, and know the ins and outs of the police reports (what to report, how to report, etc.) local gov't such as code endorcers, judicial system, etc. I would venture someone has been through something similar over there and can offer additional guidance.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 10:32AM
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At least you have six acres. WE just bought a home on a large lot that we are going to flip. The house sat empty for a year so the neighbors think they can continue to do what they did before...tree and shrub trimmings are tossed into our yard, their children walk across the lawn (and have worn a path in it) AND they park their cars in the drive way.....I just dunno...

Why not put your stinkiest garbage back along the fence line next to the neighbors you THINK is tossing the trash. If they say anything, tell them you will be happy to move t he stinky trash just as soon as they quite dumping their trahs into your yard.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 12:02AM
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My parents' next door neighbor started throwing grass clippings and sticks over the fence onto my folks' back yard. Dad went out every morning and threw it back over. It took a few weeks, but the behavior stopped.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Folks from the city and suburban areas would tend to use the ditches along roads out in the country where I lived in Kansas. Most of the time it was building scrap with nothing to identify who the original owner was. I had asked the sheriff's deputy who lived close by what to do and he recommended calling the Public health department as the police really do have better things to do.
Well one day I was driving over to a field to check on some cattle and saw a pile of trash. I investigated and hit the mother lode this time. I found mail with the owner's name and address! Fantastic! The owners lived in a rather exclusive part of Wichita and I got on the phone and called them. They denied having dumped anything and I believed them (although I did not say so). My guess is they hired someone to haul the stuff off and instead of taking it to the landfill, pocketed the money and dumped out here. I said they need to come out and get this stuff cleaned up and of course they refused. I said "Fine. I have three things - your address, a tractor with a scoop, and a dump truck. Guess what I'm gonna do." The trash was gone within 36 hours.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 1:36PM
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A young single man bought the house next door and from day 1 there were drinking parties with all his buddies until 2 and 3 in the morning outside my bedroom window. The next morning I had beer bottlecaps and cigarettes in my yard. I picked them up and put them all over the hood of his car.That didn't work for he would back out and leave them all over his driveway.Then the chicken bones were thrown against my house. I found burned down cigarettes on the flat portion of my roof. Called the police many times to no avail.Now you have to picture me at 67 yrs old and this 6'3" 30 yr old with him going to work one morning sitting in his car. I motioned for him to open the window and asked "whats with the chicken bones"? he says " I told my friends to stop doing that but I'm really tired of discussing this with you" I coldcocked him right in the face as hard as I could. It cost me $1500 dollars and a night in Broward county jail but the satisfaction of watching him wipe the ooze dripping out of his eye was priceless.They even made me pay for the day of work he missed. But there was never any more crap thrown into my yard

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 11:34AM
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My neighbor asked if she could stake her calf out by our metal building to eat the weeds. Said "sure, anything to keep from mowing". A couple of days later, I checked on the building and couldn't believe how far up on the building the calf cr@p was. What the heck, did he have explosive diahrea???? Looked closer and it was dog poop!! The guy on the other side of the brick wall was flinging the dog waste over the wall and plastering it on the metal building. I called the cops, luckily we are friends with all of them in this small town. He went over and confronted the man and he got in the cop's face about it!! The next day I noticed a hose snaked over the wall and the guy busy with a push broom. Never had another incident.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 9:58PM
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Beth Parsons

Thanks to everyone for the replies and input on my original post. I read them all, but never actually got around to posting an update.

After we discovered the litter - not just limbs and rocks, but actual trash, my husband went over and talked to the property owner of the house with the most debris. The guy apologized and was out that weekend cleaning up the entire fence line. Not just where his property abuts ours, but for the other 3 houses as well!

Things have been quiet until now. We only bushhog the field a couple times a year, so this season I started mowing a path around the property and along the fence line so we can have a walking path and I can keep my eye on the property line.

SO today I went to mow the path and found that some &*%$%$ had dumped a ton of sod on top and over our field fence and onto our property. Not only sod, but discarded gutter downspouts, too. I headed back to the house, got into my van and drove over to confront these 'neighbors.'

First, I spoke to the homeowner who's property the sod was dumped on. He confirmed that it was his property, but he had no idea who dumped it. We looked over at his next door neighbor, and they had several new garden beds where before there was only sod. Oh, they had new underground gutter downspouts, too.

I left the first guy and knocked on the door of the people that I'm sure dumped the dirt. They didn't answer so I Googled their phone number and left a polite, but strong message for them to call me ASAP so we could discuss the debris and facilitate its removal. The first guy said he'd get out and shovel it all up since it was technically on his property, but I requested he wait until I speak to the other people. They need to haul their butts out there and clean it up!!!

Again what the heck is wrong with people?!? If someone chooses to move to a subdivision outside city limits, then they need to figure out what to do with their own yard waste. It's not my problem if the HOA disallows burning and the local dump won't take it, either. My property is not a freaking dump!!!

Grrr. Thanks for letting me vent here. I sure hope the 'neighbors' call be back soon and we can get this resolved. Unfortunately for them, it just rained buckets and I'm sure it's a huge muddy mess.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 4:58PM
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I don't understand why you are concerned this time. The trash is not on your property.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Beth Parsons


The debris WAS dumped onto our property. I stated that they "dumped a ton of sod on top and over our fence and onto our property." The pile of dirt, including discarded gutter downspouts extend about 4 or 5 feet from our fence, over into our field. In all, it's about an 8 foot wide pile of dirt/debris and it was dumped from someone else's yard so they were trespassing there, too.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 10:39AM
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I'm guessing the contractor did that.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 2:28PM
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You saidFirst, I spoke to the homeowner who's property the sod was dumped on. He confirmed that it was his property, but he had no idea who dumped it.
I took that to mean the sod was on a neighbour's property.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:05PM
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Beth Parsons

Yeah, joed, I meant to write "the homeowner who's property the sod was dumped from." Big difference in interpertation there; my mistake!

I confronted the homeowner today at his house since he wasn't returning the phone calls I've been leaving since Monday. He knew *exactly* what I was talking about when I mentioned a pile of sod and just kind of shrugged his shoulders. He blamed it on 'the kids' but wouldn't say which kids, his or someone elses. Then he tried to say his property line extended beyond his fence (which it does, but not past my field fence and certainly 4/5 feet into my field) and 'they' were told to dump it at the back of the fence, but he refused to walk outside to look at where the dirt actually ended up.

I did get angry at his attitude of 'whatever' and that he was already aware of the situation and he never once apologized for dumping crap on my property. I never once swore or raised my voice, but my tone was pretty hostile, I must admit. He even got argumentative about it, but cut that crap out when I mentioned building a chicken coop 5 feet from his backyard. I told him I wanted the sod and gutter material removed from my property and he finally said he'd get it cleaned up. No sooner than I pulled into my driveway, I saw him out there with a shovel. I'll let my husband inspect the work when he gets home this afternoon. My part is done. DH is the 'good cop' in our relationship.

I just don't understand why people behave the way they sometimes do. There is such a lack of respect for one another it's pathetic. If he'd just knocked on my door and asked if he could dump the dirt, I'd let him put it in our burn pit, as we do for other neighbors with brush that can't dump or burn because of their HOA.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:38PM
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Your neighbor was very wrong to dump debris on your property. You were right to talk to him about it and I hope he cleans up his act.

I don't live in the country, but we have a nice wooded park in our neighborhood with a little creek running through it. You would not believe what gets dumped there - tires, toilets, appliances, trash. People who actually want to enjoy the park then have to find a way to clean all of that up.

There must be some place (aside from your property) for your neighbors to dump their brush/dirt/junk. Maybe the HOA could offer some suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 4:05PM
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The problem is all the other options probably cost money(dumping fees) and are not as convenient.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Try Liquid Ass. That is a surefire way to show who is boss.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 4:02PM
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