What Would You Do? (The Trash Snooper Edition)

It's been a while since I've done one of these.. Last time you guys helped me out when a neighbor came over to ask for a donation for a party we were not attending...Remember? Okay... So here's another one that causes me some hmms and head-scratches...

Sunday is our trash day....Trash day means Lovey takes out the garbage and then proceeds to make his weekly comment about some people that come around and take out the aluminum cans and plastic bottles from our recycle bin (there aren't any, btw). Yesterday  there was a gentleman just across the street digging through our neighbor's rubbish, but I guess it didn't look like he was looking for recyclables..This made Lovey a little suspicious...if this man wasn't looking for cans...then what else was he looking for? Moving boxes perhaps?
Lovey wanted to call the police because it was "an invasion of privacy for strangers to be looking through our personal poo and residue". Now, while we don't throw out any personal information (other than the occasional grocery list), Lovey was concerned that we might be "careless some day and you know what identity thieves can do in this day and age...". I understand his concern... I'm concerned myself... I can't afford for someone to steal my identity... (And I saw that movie where that serial killer went through garbage to figure stuff out about his next victim)  I'm sooo dramatic! Ha! So I guess my question is: Would you call the cops on someone snooping through your personal poo  (allegedly looking for cans)? I don't think it's a big deal...But then again...Did you see that movie?????!!!!! Eek!

PS. Lovey didn't call the cops...


  1. Well, that's a tough one. I would for sure tell him to get the f%#$ out of my garbage...if he'd still stay I would tell him that I will call the cops if he doesn't stop...and if he'd still proceed with his snooping, I think I'd call them!

  2. Is it actually illegal? I think it is in our state, but I'm not sure. Would the cops just say, "Hmm...that's not really illegal, so we can't do anything?"
    Crazy question though. It definitely makes me want to be more careful about what we throw out!

  3. haha well dang, I guess I never thought of it that way. I probably might walk outside casually and see if he moves or says something. Because I feel like getting caught digging through trash would be way more embarrassing than cops.
    Lovely Little Rants

  4. I'm a pansy, so I wouldn't call the cops. I would probably throw away something gross like dumping my cats litter boxes in there or something so he'd learn skip our trash. lol


  5. This is a pretty interesting question and, believe it or not, there have actually been supreme court cases deciding this issue. I have people that dig through the dumpsters at my apartment building and it makes me really uncomfortable so I, personally, am super careful not to through out anything with private info on it. I wouldn't call the cops about it though. From a legal perspective, I'm not sure there's much the cops can do. Those supreme court cases I mentioned above have held that a person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in anything they throw in the garbage/dumpster. The cases have even said it's totally okay for cops to snoop through garbage cans looking for evidence that can be used to get a search warrant for a home.

  6. I have a guy that looks homeless (well, actually, he is dressed normal, but you know what I mean) he is always looking into our apartment complex' trash... I want to buy a shredder to make sure my info is not vulnerable, but I don't know about others... individual responsibility? If you see him around a lot maybe your lovey can ask him a couple of questions and go from there?
    by the way, wanna donate for my pizza party Im gonna have with two friends? :P

  7. I have called the police and would again. We never set our trash on the public easement, it sits on our drive way and all our neighbors do the same thing, so that means the divers are trespassing. When we lived where there was communal trash cans that was a different story. But if someone is going through my trash cans or even one of my neighbors I call the police. Because it is a grey area legally they've never arrested them but they do chase them off.

    We've had people go down the street and look in mailboxes (which is a Federal offense).

    I'd at least alert the cops and even my neighbors.

    1. Trash on the lawn is actually Not private property.trash in your backyard is barely private property.look it up

  8. We have people who come every Monday morning and look through each person's trash cans for recyclables. I does feel like an invasion of property, but I try my best to shred everything that has our name on it. If I saw someone not looking for recyclables, my husband would probably go confront them. I don't think we would call the cops, because the person would be gone by the time the cops came. I think I read somewhere, that if it's a city owned trash can (like ours), then it's illegal, but I don't know if that's true or not.

  9. Apparently my next door neighbour had that happen to them a while back. They waited for him to come again a threw eggs at him... he never came back! You could try that.. failing that call the police or get one of those sensor lights that go off when someone is near the house - it will scare him off!

  10. This is a really tough call... I honestly would porbably make the decision on a case-by-case basis, depending on how the person going through the trash made me feel. But then again, I live in Vancouver and within walking distance of a bottle drop off. So many people went through the garbage at our condo that our strata wound up putting a very large lock on this bins... No one goes through our garbage anymore, which, honestly, is a bit of a relief :) It sounds like you made the right call in the end, but I can't blame you for getting a little worked up- if there is a scary movie about it, I'm paranoid it might happen to me, even if I haven't actually seen the movie :)

  11. That's a tough one for me since I know the law when it comes to these things. Personally, I would hate for people to go thru my trash. Same way, I felt about people using my photos online - violated!!!! But the side of me who knows the law will scold myself for not doing what I know I have to. Even after all these years, I believed in people have some decency & morals, but really who am I kidding. In the day & age we live in where the Kardashians are considered royalty & reality tv rules, I expect decency. Awakening, I know.


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