Neighbor putting trash can in front of my house

jockewingAugust 3, 2011

This is really far from a disaster, and I don't really like to complain about the small stuff, but this is annoying me---

I have these new people that are renting the house directly across the street. The owners moved out a few weeks ago, and I was vaguely aware of these people who moved in as they originally lived much farther down my same street. I will just say that the woman is very socially awkward--I don't know if she has mental deficiencies, but in the few times she has approached me, I felt like I was talking to a 5 year old. I have been told by others down the street that if you make the mistake of engaging with her, she will bother you to no end, knocking on doors, approaching you every time you are outside, saying all sorts of strange things. So, I have been polite and waved when I see them, but I do not engage with them.

All of that aside, I noticed a few weeks ago that these people are putting their trashcan right next to mine on the curb in front of my house every week instead of leaving it across the street in front of their own house. The garbage truck comes down both sides of the street and everyone else on their side of the street leaves it in front of their own house. Why are they doing this? I probably wouldn't care but for the fact they have left it in front of my house each week until after 5PM the next day. Once, I subtly pushed it away from my house further down the street hoping they would get the hint. I didn't want to roll it across the street to their house because I don't want them to think I plan on doing this for them every week.

I really don't want to approach them over something that really isn't that big of a deal, and I want to avoid starting a relationship with the woman.

Any advice?

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It's a very easy fix - you go across the street and ask them nicely to stop doing this. Problem solved.

I know you will probably take this the wrong way, and I really am NOT trying to start anything, but I need to say this. You said she is socially awkward and has the mentality of a 5 year old. Well what does it say about yourself when you need to come here for advice on this very simple matter and you are incapable of approaching her? Can you not see the irony?

I also find it strange that you would decide to shun her based on what other people say, rather than having a real reason. It's like being in grade school where all the "popular" people decide who's cool and who's a nerd. If she does actually have a mental problem - so what? You don't know the circumstances behind it, and you have no right to treat her like an outcast because of it. Sounds to me that she is just trying to be friendly. Most people today seem like they don't want to be "bothered" with being too friendly, so it's easier to shut them out.

Again, this was not intended to be a personal attack against you. I apologize if what I said upset you, but that was not my intention. I just wanted to wake you up to he fact that she is a person and she deserves to be treated with respect. How would you like it if everyone treated you like that? You asked for advice, I gave it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:49AM
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How about taking their trash can, fully loaded, over to their curb before the truck comes? I realize that that would take a bit of effort, but I'll bet that you'd only have to do it once or twice. And in addition to them hopefully getting the message, the empty trash can would be in front of their house instead of yours.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 2:15PM
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cas, I am not rude to the lady, but she has approached me before she move into the house across the street and was just so strange. I just have enough problems in life right now to create a new one! I will not be mean, but I plan to keep my distance.

Interestingly, they didn't even put their trash can out at all this week. I wonder if they forgot? Suzieque, I think I will try your idea next time.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 7:38PM
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Or write a nice friendly note and say "Hi neighbor, I notice that you are dragging your trash can across the street and wanted to let you know that it's not necessary, the collector will pick yours up in front of your home."

If we had a neighbor put a can out with ours, we'd be charged for it by the way, so I wouldn't like it for that reason :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:45PM
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I don't know how layout of the land is where you live. If the area in front of her house has too much of a slope, and she doesn't have a flat spot to place the cans, maybe she has problems with the cans getting knocked over and rolling away. Maybe thats why she puts it across the street with yours. She sort of knows you and doesnt think you would mind. Plus she is saving the garbage men the trouble of crossing the street if everything is all together. Who knows.

If you really don't want to speak to her, like others have suggested, you could stick a note on the garbage can - and she will see it when she picks the empty can back up. A note will save you some trouble or anxiety, or whatever.........but a note can also be viewed as a little cold and impersonal. I still think talking it out is the way to go, but thats just me. Not everybody is comfortable doing that, and sometimes talking things out can also backfire. I know you can figure out a way to do this where everybody is happy.

Good luck

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:41AM
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"Why are they doing this?"

Do you pay individually for trash service?

Maybe they do not want to pay and figure the trash company will assume both cans are yours.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Is there a "he" involved? You only mention the woman. In our city, trash/garbage pickup is part of our water bill so you get charged for the service whether you use it or not.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 4:41PM
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I actually have two residents on the opposite side of the street that put their trash cans on the curb in front of my house by request of the trashmen.

We are on the end of the street at a very busy intersection and entering our street from the intersection the houses on the other side are on the right hand side of the traffic. The trash truck driver explained that when he enters the street and stops at the first two houses the rear of his truck is pointed towards the intersection, which places the men working the rear of the truck in jeapardy of being hit by a car entering the intersection.

When they place the cans on my side the truck is facing the intersection and the men working on the rear of the truck are then protected by the truck itself.

In this case it is a safety issue that has been worked out by all parties, but even if it weren't, the treebelt along the curb is city property all the way from the curb to our side of the sidewalk and we all pay a trash assesment on our water bill with no limits on how many cans we can set out. Our solution is that each homeowner has painted their house number on their can so we don't get them mixed up.

If you happen to live in an area where there is no sidewalk there still is a utility easement which is owned by the city so I fail to see what the problem is.

On the other hand, I am left wondering if the trash can is the real reason for your complaint? Obviously you have preconceived a notion that the lady across the street has some form of mental issue that places her benieth your social standings and I would go so far as to say I don't think its her trash can your objecting to, but rather, you are being judgemental based upon rumors really don't care to have that type of riff-raff for a neighbor. Perhaps you might begin with a bit of assessment on your own self worth.

Personally, now knowing that you gossip with others and have the propensity to judge people without really knowing them, I feel fortunate that you are not my neighbor.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Pot - kettle there lazypup? Seems you have done just that. If the OP does not want to associate with her neighbor, it is wrong to assume it is an issue of social standing.
Just because I don't like someone rarely has anything to do with social standing - there are plenty of people ABOVE my station I do not want to socialize with.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 4:43PM
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