Neighbor's Garbage Blowing into Our Yard

Updated on March 28, 2010
K.J. asks from Westmont, IL
12 answers

Every garbage day we end up with several of our neighbor's recycling items scattered on our lawn and bushes, as they do not secure their items and overfill their bin. Since we live in the Windy City area, it ALWAYS blows into my front yard. They are otherwise fantastic neighbors, but this is just such an annoyance to me. Is this a suck it up and let it go circumstance, or should I address it with them? If so, what is the best way to do so without sounding overly petty?

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answers from Las Vegas on

My husband just put the trash out on a windy day and my trash blew out. When I came home, my neighbor mentioned the wind and that he picked up trash out of my shrubs and his. I am certain he was letting me know my trash blew. I wasn't offended.

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answers from Boise on

If they are good neighbors, just mention it.

In our neighborhood, there is one house that seems to be the receiver for all that stuff due to the direction of the wind. We have had our garbage (actually recycling) blow over and I make a point of going to his yard and picking up all our trash. I have even had a couple neighbors that have seen me and helped out, and others that I have gone out to help, and we aren't an overly friendly neighborhood.

If you are less confrontational, maybe, when you know that they are home, or coming home and will see you, wait till then, and then clean it up...they may notice, and you can mention that the wind just grabs all the trash.

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answers from Boston on

Recently, I asked my husband to tell a neighbor to remove a ladder he kept in his yard sighting safety concerns. He agreed, no fuss and moved it. I'm learning if we just speak up sooner and not later we can avoid confrontation.

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answers from Chicago on

It is very possible he doesn't realize there is a problem if he goes to work after putting the garbage out. You could just mention that his recyclables are blowing around on windy days and you have been picking them up. A lot of the suburbs do have fines for garbage blowing around so you could mention that you want to save him some grief.
Berwyn fines residents if Waste Management lets them know that we put reagular garbage in the recycled bin. I let my neighbor know that his son was putting regular garbage in the bins. He was glad to know since he did not realize the issue.

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answers from Mansfield on

I am guilty of my garbage blowing (sometimes) usually my plastic recycling is overflowing and because it is so light the wind knocks it over and away it goes! Even with a lid. If i see this i ofcourse run over and clean it up.
One day I got a call from my neighbor saying- your trash can blew over thought I would let you know before it gets too bad. I was not offended about her telling me to come clean it up out of her yard. Hopefully your neighbors wouldn't be either. I would say something about it... they may not even know this happens every week! But if they really don't care to clean it up- take Tori's advise and call your trash collection company. But suck it put and let it go if it doesn't change. There is not sense in stressing about it when you can just pick it up!
When I am cleaning up litter in my front yard I also walk a few steps into both neighbors to clean up theirs too. They probably do the same for me. Who was it that said if everyone would sweep in front of his or her own door the world would be cleaner (more beautiful) something like that?
Hope this helps :)

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answers from Chicago on

This happened to me just yesterday! What made things worse for us is that our trash doesn't get picked up until later in the afternoon. By that time, most of my neighbor's recycling bin was stuck in my bushes, and his garbage was all over my lawn. I left a friendly handwritten note on his door asking him to be more careful to secure his trash. When I saw him today, he was very apologetic and thanked me for letting him know about it. No big deal. Hopefully, it won't happen again.

You should just mention it to your neighbor. He probably has no idea. If they are fantastic neighbors, they will appreciate you letting them know about the trash situation. Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I have no good answer for you, but I feel your pain.

When that happens to me, I pick up the garbage and either throw it in our recycle bin or theirs if it is still out.



answers from Albuquerque on

I has this same problem. It wasn't just on garbage day it is everyday! They have 6 little ones who are always outside and tend to leave their trash on the ground. I went and talked to the parents, because like yours, they are good, nice neighbors. They were happy to talk to their kiddos. I also made sure I let the kids know they were more than welcome to use my trashcan so they didn't have to go inside and stop playing. Problem solved.

I think it is always nice to let people know of a problem you have. Give them the chance to fix it. I'm sure they have no idea and would be happy to secure their items.



answers from Topeka on

errr I hate that myself so does my husband our yard is very well maintained we have neighbors to the right and left of us that don't close their lids or just chuck the garbage out by the pickup side and there ya go stray cats love it.On windy days it's the worst we tell our kids not to pick up other garbage we will do it.I would mention it to them I however just suck it up or chuck it into their yard



answers from San Francisco on

If they are fantastic neighbors, suck it up.



answers from Chicago on

I don't know if this is an option for you, but maybe you could suggest using Roy Strom to your neighbors -- they provide you with two cans, one for regular garbage and the other is for recycling. You don't pay anything extra for the cans. In my neighborhood (where my motto is "everyday is garbage day" since everyone seems to have a different service) the roy strom cans really keep everything a lot nicer (more and more people have switched). The green truck people (I forget which company that is) seem to leave the biggest mess because they always have an open (too small) container for their recycling. It drives me crazy!



answers from San Francisco on

If you're not comfortable spekaing to your neighbors directly call your waste management company and see if they can send a letter out to your neighborhood. Every once in a while we get a reminder so I suspect they have a "canned" letter for this sort of thing. Usually when we got out at night to put the garbage out it is pretty calm wind wise, that can change during the day. We are pretty good about not overfiling but I'll be extra careful ow that I've read your post!
Take care!