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Can I Put Rubbish In My Neighbour’s Bin?

You’re out for a stroll with the dog when they stop to do their business. You pick it up with a bag because you’re a responsible pet owner, of course. But then what? Do you hang on to the bag until you get home to throw it away? 

When the smell hits, discarding it in your neighbour’s bin can look much more tempting than carrying it for another three blocks. Is that allowed? 

It’s a common question that we’ve all probably asked ourselves at one time or another. Rubbish is rubbish, but there’s no denying it feels odd to throw your garbage away in someone else’s bins. What are the rules around this – both spoken and unspoken? 

Is it illegal to put rubbish in other people’s bins?

According to the law, it is not illegal to put rubbish in someone else’s bins. “Stuffing,” as it is sometimes known, cannot be prosecuted, no matter how inconvenient it may be. 

However, stuffers beware. It is frowned upon. If a neighbour catches you putting rubbish in their bin, they may not be happy. You could find yourself ostracised from the neighbourhood and the object of many disdainful looks. 

A better solution would be to simply ask. If your bin is overflowing but you still have garbage left to toss, simply ask your neighbour if they have extra room in theirs. More than likely, they’ll say yes and you can avoid any awkward situations.

You are allowed to toss rubbish in other people’s bins but remember, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. 

What to do if someone puts rubbish in your bin

Now that you know not to be a “stuffer,” what do you do if you’re on the other side of the scenario? When you roll your bin out on collection day, what if you notice that half the stuff in there isn’t yours? 

As annoying as this may be, you don’t have a ton of options. The best thing would be to confront the person doing it, if you know who they are. Simply explain that you don’t appreciate their “additions” to your rubbish and politely ask them to stop. 

Most people should be happy to oblige. If that doesn’t solve the problem, though, there are a few extra steps you can take. 

If the extra rubbish means extra dirt for your bin, your first step should be to schedule a cleaning with a company like Wheelie Clean Bins. Don’t let someone else ruin your good bin hygiene!

Once they’re clean, try keeping your bins inside your garage, inside a fence, or around the back of your house away from passersby. The more difficult it is to reach your bin, the less likely you are to end up with excess rubbish. 

You may also think about investing in a bin lock. These simple devices lock the lid closed and prevent access to anyone who does not have a key. There are even locks that automatically disengage when the bin is lifted and tilted for collection. If garbage that isn’t yours is a major problem, this could be a good solution. 

It’s important to throw your rubbish in the bin, but when that bin isn’t yours, think twice. It’s not illegal, but it certainly won’t make you friends with your neighbours. As with anything, it’s always better to be considerate, even with rubbish.

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