Neighbors put garbage cans in front of my house! [What to do]

Neighbors put garbage cans in front of my house! Getting nestled into a neighborhood means you’ll likely cross paths with at least a few pain-in-the-rear neighbors. Whether they’re cranking up the volume, messing up your property, or their fur babies are treating your lawn like a public restroom—the headache can be pretty real.

A common issue riling up the community is the neighbors tossing around trash or leaving garbage cans in front of other people’s houses. This write-up will tackle the age-old issue of neighbors leaving their trash cans right in front of your abode.

Can I file a legal complaint if my neighbor keeps dumping trash in front of my house?

Yes, you can. Littering isn’t just a douche move—it’s also potentially hazardous. The backlash of trash-dumping includes:

  • Racking up cleaning costs
  • Risking the health of children, pets, and the environment
  • Setting up the perfect breeding ground for insects like roaches and rodents like rats and mice
  • Contaminating soil, water, and the local ecosystem

If you’ve reached your limit with the neighbor who seems hell-bent on turning your yard into a landfill, know this—you’ve got every right to raise a stink. Many states across the U.S. have zero chills when it comes to littering and can slap hefty fines on Neighbors for putting garbage cans in front of your house.

Before taking up the legal angle, take a moment to familiarize yourself with your state laws. If you’re gearing up to report your neighbors to the authorities, make sure to capture their antics on a security camera—the more evidence, the better your argument.

While it might be tempting to go full “Law & Order” on them, starting with a neighborly chat might be the way to go. It ensures peace, and you avoid getting sucked into a time-sucking legal black hole. If they’re acting stubborn, then, by all means, go ahead and file that report against your neighbor.

Neighbors put garbage cans in front of my house! What to do

So, you’re dealing with trash-tossing neighbors. Here are a few of your options if you want to handle this mess:

TechniquesHow to
Erect a fenceBuild a fence around your property. But do a quick check on local rules about fence height, safety, and position before you start hammering away.
Place a “No Littering” signageA giant “No Littering” sign might strike a chord with those few litterbugs who still have a conscience. A nice, visible spot should do the trick.
Calling in the EPAThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) might seem like they’re all about major eco-disasters, but they also handle garden-variety environmental lawbreaking. Especially if the litter is hazardous, give them a call to get the mess cleaned up.
Install a security camJust the sight of a security camera can deter would-be trash dumpers. Plus, you’ll have hard evidence if you need to have a chat with them.
Have a good old neighborly chatIf you feel up to it, have a face-to-face with your neighbor. Here’s how you could go about it:

  • Politely ask for a moment of their time
  • Gently lay out the problem—emphasize the hazards of littering
  • Thank them for listening

Remember to keep accusations out of it to avoid a defensive reaction from your neighbors. Most people will understand and change their ways once they realize the impact of their actions.

If all else fails, it’s time for some official paperwork. Send them a demand letter. It’s kind of like a final warning shot before you bring in the law. The trick is to make sure it’s clear that you’re dead serious about escalating the situation if necessary.

What if your neighbor just brushes off your letter?

Some neighbors can be real pieces of work, either too bullheaded to admit they’re wrong, or too convinced you won’t actually do anything. If you find yourself dealing with one of these people, it’s time to call the authorities.

The consequences your neighbor might face can depend on a few factors, like the state you live in, what kind of mess they’re making, and how big the polluted area is. And they could be looking at:

  • Community service (A chance to reflect on their poor choices while picking up trash? Lovely.)
  • A fine that could range from a mere 50 bucks to a whopping 25 grand (Yikes!)
  • And in states where illegal waste dumping is treated as a class A misdemeanor, they might get a “time-out” in jail for up to a year. (That’s a whole lot of thinking about what they’ve done.)

So, yeah, sometimes you have to escalate things to ensure your neighbor gets the message. They might think twice next time before turning their yard into a dump site. And you won’t have to come running for help again screaming neighbors put garbage cans in front of my house!

Read also: did a neighbor’s cat poop in your yard?

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