Who is the jerk in this situation?

Ok, this happened to me last week. I do not think I did anything wrong, but am willing to listen to the board’s opinion on my actions. So here is the set up:

My wife and I live in a town house on a short private road with about ten units. For the last two weeks the road was closed to traffic due to repaving. Consequently, we had to place our garbage and recycling at the end of the street.

Last week was a recycling week and I worked late that day. When I went to take our can and bins out, the available area was almost completely full. We had two partially full bins (paper and mixed plastic and glass), and I decided it would be easier if I just put our stuff in one of the bins already there. I actually spread it around so as not to overload any of the bins. I picked up anything I saw that went on the ground and called it a night.

Next day I come home from work and find that one of my neighbors went through the bins and collected all our paper and put in a paper bag on our walkway and took a bunch of non-paper (including a bunch of out right garbage, sans bag) that did not belong to us and put in our trash can after the garbage people had come through, but before the recycling truck. Now we have more recycling then before, and the inside of our garbage can is covered in rotten food.

So, the question: Was I in the wrong to put our recycling in some else’s bin on collection day? How big an offense was it? Do you consider the response appropriate? Note: Since the street is now open and this will not come up again I do have no intention of doing anything about this now, I just want to know if what I did would be considered jerkish by reasonable people.


I think your neighbor was jerkish. Really very jerkish.

Why in the world would anyone care if their bins had other people’s stuff in it immediately before collection?

Do you have to pay for recycling based on the amount in the bin? If so then they probably have a good reason. If not then I think they’re the ones being jerks about it. I live on a tiny one-lane road where we have to haul the cans out to the main road about 1/4 mile away and there isn’t much space to use that doesn’t block the road. People here do it all the time. Whatever we don’t use is available for the college kids down the road and their mountains of beer cans.

They missed pick-up and dumped their trash into your can. The recycled stuff was just icing on the cake. You live next to garbage redistributing cakeholes.

You did absolutely nothing wrong.

Wow. What assholes. Dump the garbage on their car and shit on their steps.

How did the neighbor even know you’d put some of your stuff in his bin? And how did they know it belonged to you? Completely weird and jerkish of the neighbor. Do you know which neighbor did it?

Dump garbage in their car and shit on their pets.

Dump the garbage on their porch, shit in their car, and wipe your ass with their pets.

Once the garbage/recycling is out on the street, it is no longer “theirs”. They are the jerk.

Of course, if your deeds could cause added fees, then they should talk to you about it.

Unless, as was noted earlier, you’re paying by the pound for the recycling, that was a seriously assholish stunt by your neighbour, IMO. Once the garbage is on the curb awaiting pick-up, what difference does it make what bin it’s in? Yeah, you might give some thought to a flaming bag of doggie poo as a special thank-you gift to that neighbour.

Find some garbage that ages really badly - diapers for example, hide it under their porch, rub their pets in their own crap, and do a couple ‘burning lunch bags of poo’ tricks on them.

For upgraded fun, hide some marbles in their lawn so when they mow, they get these some glass shrapnel.

I dunno, I’m just less forgiving of jerkishness.

You acted completely reasonably in an unusual situation.
Your neighbor is the jerk.

Thanks for the responses.

I would have thought this too except the garbage was mixed with some recycling (including a broken baby bottle that I know was ours). I suspect that someone had put garbage that was border line (half full paper cup of soda, dirty disposable lasagna pans, etc.) and that was the stuff someone threw in there.

We pay Allied Waste by the volume of the garbage can, but the recycling is free. They will even give you more bins if you ask at no charge. When we moved in we had three small, dirty bins, we called and they brought us over four new, large bins.

As for how they knew who it was ours, the paper garbage had junk mail in it (coupons and flyers). We shred anything with personal info, but our address is right above where our bins normally go so we see no point in shredding anything with an address. This does not explain how they knew which garbage can was ours as we do not have address or name on it and there are three just like it on the street.

I have thought about this and the only way I can see that some even knew I had done this was if they watched me do it (this does point to one of the neighbors at the end of the street as the culprit).
Thanks for all the suggestions, but I really do not want a neighborhood war. I have been down that path in the past and it never makes your life less stressful.


And the bear says to the bunny rabbit, “Does poop stick to your fur?”

Anybody who would pull recycling material out of their bin doesn’t underststand the point of recycling. I would put the actions of whoever did it in the “whackadoo” category and forget about it.

If you want to screw with them then put a flyer in everybody’s newspaper box explaining the situation with a request for everyone interested in advancing the cause of recycling to place an X on their recycling box to avoid future problems during the road construction project. This will make it a neighborhood source of conversation and eventually everybody will know who the jerk is.

I am in the you are mildly wrong camp. The response by the neighbor was slightly overboard.

You start the apologies.

Shit in their garbage, wipe their car with their pets, and dump your ass on their porch. That’ll teach 'em.

How is it wrong to fully utilize a public recycling program? The bin is not the property of the neighbor nor was it used in a manner that prevented the neighbor from recycling. Not only was it not an inconvenience to the neighbor, said person went out of his way to inconvenience someone else.

The action of the neighbor wasn’t slightly overboard it was painfully childish. when I put my trash out I sometimes fill other containers. I also bring my neighbors cans back as well as pick up loose trash in the alley. My neighbors do the same thing. This is what neighbors do for each other. I could care less if someone adds to my can or recycle bin after I’ve put them out.

Me too. It’s generally not good form to put your waste in other people’s bins (recycling or otherwise). It makes your waste someone else’s problem.

There can also be other person preference issues. Eg/ we never put meat in our green bin and as a result, we never have maggots, and we’d be mighty annoyed if someone put their crap in our bins and we had to deal with the stench of rotting meat in the summer.

But geez Louise! Is your neighbor ever a bastard! :mad:

Especially given the mitigating circumstances of the construction which is creating an unusual situation. We certainly wouldn’t object if people had to fiddle around and make do with our bins in the short-term while construction made a mess of things.