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Is it against the law to put your trash and recyclables in other people's personal receptacles?

 
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 12:13 am
Hi. I live in upstate NY. Since I moved up here my family and I use what we refer to as "city bags". These are special blue trash bags that everyone in my county is required by law to use to put trash in. People have to buy these bags. You can put these bags over regular trash bags full of garbage. The collections people won't take your garbage if it's not in city bags.

These go out on the curb next to recycling bins on collections day.

Sometimes people have trash cans out with the city bags and recycling bins.

Sometimes people leave trash cans out on sidewalks or near them and such. Somewhere outside of their houses.

A few times I had been tempted to put my garbage in people's trash cans and put my recyclables in other people's recycling bins when a public trash and recycling receptacles weren't available, when I am out in public somewhere.

There are public trash and recycling receptacles located in front of commercial business buildings by curbs or right outside the front of said buildings or in the lots of said buildings.

Am I breaking any laws by putting my stuff in people's trash cans and/or other people's recycling bins that I find when I am walking up and down sidewalks in residential areas?

There are trash bins in the parking lot of some housing complexes not too far from where I live but I was told those are rented, so I can't dispose of my refuse in them.

There is one trash bin located in the back of a nearby company building across the street from the lot of the housing complexes I am referring to but I don't know if it's safe for me to dispose of my refuse in them.

Please help - thank you.


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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 1,985 • Replies: 23
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JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 01:18 pm
This is obviously an issue I should contact someone in my city's government about.

No one here off-hand has an answer to the topic question?
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 02:05 pm
@JGoldman10,
You supplied the answer yourself. Each community (city, town, village, township etc.) has their own rules. Additionally, there may be some laws which are directly associated with the public housing buildings and their trash receptacles and those associated with commercial usage.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 02:16 pm
@Sturgis,
No I didn't. I still don't know if it's against the law to put my trash in people's trash cans and/or put my recyclables in a peoples' recycling bins that I see when I am walking up and down sidewalks in residential areas.

Have you ever put your trash and recyclables in other people's personal receptacles in residential areas, when public ones weren't available?
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 02:18 pm
@JGoldman10,
I was referring to your second post, where you mentioned contacting your local government.

Aside from trash receptacles along the street, provided by the city or at businesses which have them for customers/potential customers/employees i don't place my trash anywhere except where I am supposed to. Never in another person's personal bins/cans.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 02:47 pm
It could be considered public dumping in which it would most likely result in a fine.

Even if it is not - it really is not a good idea. You could get a homeowner pissed off at you resulting in a confrontation. I know in some local areas you are only allowed to throw out/recycle so much so this could definitely cause an issue with a homeowner and they likely would not like you in their trash barrels - they have no idea what you are dumping in there - it could be something harmful, it could be a murder weapon, a dead animal, etc. Something they could potentially get in trouble for having in their trash.

I would suggest not doing this. Hold onto the trash until you come upon a public receptacle.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 05:57 pm
@Linkat,
I still want to contact someone in my city's government and ask them about this and see what they have to say. I need to make sure I send an email to the right department.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2020 02:02 am
@JGoldman10,
I'm sure it will make their day.
0 Replies
 
Rebelofnj
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2020 06:54 am
@JGoldman10,
According to your city government's website (you mentioned the name of your city to me a while ago):

What they consider litter is "Any quantity of uncontainerized paper, metal, plastic, glass or miscellaneous solid waste which may be classified as trash, debris, garbage or junk."

They state: "It shall be unlawful to throw or deposit litter on any private property within the City, whether owned by such person or not, and whether occupied or vacant."

The penalties are a fine of $150 and/or 20hrs of commmunity service. Repeated offenses increases the fine and number of hours.

However, it all depends if the police actually enforce those ordinances.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 03:27 pm
@Rebelofnj,
Rebelofnj wrote:

They state: "It shall be unlawful to throw or deposit litter on any private property within the City, whether owned by such person or not, and whether occupied or vacant."

.

I'm just a little confused by the wording of this. It is unlawful to put my trash in trash receptacles owned by people in residential areas that I see out and near the curbs by people's houses and/or apartments and put my recyclables in their recycling bins?

JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 03:34 pm
On a related note, there was some kook going around my neighborhood taking people's cans and bottles out of their recycling bins a couple of years ago. I recall he pulled his car up near my curb, got out of it and put the cans and bottles he found in my recycling bins and my neighbors' in his car and got back in his car and drove off. I don't know what the heck that was about.

Is what this person did against the law?
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 03:38 pm
@JGoldman10,
Once the cans and bottles are put out as trash, they are up for grabs.

As long as they do not make a mess of the area, it is legal in many areas. Here too, you need to know local ordinances.

As for what it was about...cans and bottles are worth money when turned in for recycling.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 03:42 pm
@Sturgis,
That's why I don't put cans and bottles that I can get deposits on in New York State out for recycling. You can get vouchers for them.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 03:47 pm
@JGoldman10,
Keep in mind, other glass and metal can be traded in at certain locations for money according to total weight. Same is true with newspapers.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 06:27 am
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:

Once the cans and bottles are put out as trash, they are up for grabs.

As long as they do not make a mess of the area, it is legal in many areas. Here too, you need to know local ordinances.

As for what it was about...cans and bottles are worth money when turned in for recycling.


Actually it can depend on where you live - if your trash is covered - then in many places it is against the law to open the trash and remove items. In part this was put in place to protect people's privacy...so that others cannot go into the trash and grab things like paperwork, etc. for evidence or other reasons. You may have to get a search warrant to look through a closed trash container.

If it is open -- for instance in the case of many recyclable containers then since it is open and visible - you can take things out.

0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 01:40 pm
@Sturgis,
I think it's foolish or at least ignorant for people in my county to put can and bottles out for recycling that they can get vouchers on in New York State. That's money they are throwing away.

Perhaps people don't realize they can redeem the cans and bottles they put for recycling for vouchers, or they just don't want to be bothered. The money you get for vouchers may not seem like a lot but it adds up.

When I am grocery shopping at my local supermarket I use vouchers I get from my supermarket's recycling room to pay for groceries. I use them kind of like coupons.

I always check to see if I can get vouchers on whatever cans and bottles I have. If they don't say "NY" anywhere on them I can't get vouchers on them.
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 07:51 pm
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

Rebelofnj wrote:

They state: "It shall be unlawful to throw or deposit litter on any private property within the City, whether owned by such person or not, and whether occupied or vacant."

.

I'm just a little confused by the wording of this. It is unlawful to put my trash in trash receptacles owned by people in residential areas that I see out and near the curbs by people's houses and/or apartments and put my recyclables in their recycling bins?





@Rebelofnj, you have no response to this?
Rebelofnj
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 08:10 pm
@JGoldman10,
Why do I have to respond when a Google search will give an adequate answer:

Quote:
Private property is property that is privately owned and generally relates to land or buildings being private property, so subject to trespassing laws, as opposed to public property which has different regulations


You can throw trash away at your local store or school, but not in your neighbor's house without expressed permission.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2020 04:45 am
@Rebelofnj,
So I would have to personally ask people if it's okay for me to put my trash in their trash cans that I see near or by curbs and my recyclables in their recycling bins before I do so?

I could be walking up and/or down sidewalks in a residential area somewhere and see at least one trash can and/or at least one trash bin outside or around the fence of someone's home. Id have to ask the person who owns that property if I can dispose of my trash and recyclables in their cans and bins respectively is what you're saying?
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2020 05:14 am
@JGoldman10,
Why is this such an issue for you? What's so hard about taking your rubbish home, or putting it in a litter bin like everyone else?
0 Replies
 
 

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