What can I do about the bums digging in my trash?

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  1. davidlivermore profile image95
    davidlivermoreposted 9 years ago

    What can I do about the bums digging in my trash?

    This isn't just bums, but people who drive their cars down my alleyway, people on bikes, etc.  They make a mess and don't care.  I recycle, but they dig through that to get all the cans.  They know when it's picked up, and it's making my alleyway unsafe.  I could call the local PD, but I know it isn't a priority.  They come in the morning, so they don't care if it's light or not, any suggestions?

  2. Borsia profile image40
    Borsiaposted 9 years ago

    In many places you would do better to call your official trash service, they depend on recyclables to supplement their charges.
    Of course you can always "booby trap" it by pouring something nasty over the top. I found that emptying the cat litter on top worked well.
    We had one overly persistent scrounger who came in a truck so I waited one morning and when they went down the alley I dumped the cat litter into the front seat and sprayed the steering wheel with pepper spray, they didn't come back.
    But I caution against getting into a direct confrontation with anyone.
    If you separate recyclables you are making more of a target for them.
    Remember that YOU pay the local PD and part of their job is dealing with this sort of thing, so don't feel bad about calling them,,, just don't call 911.

    1. davidlivermore profile image95
      davidlivermoreposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed.  I will have to file a report with the local police department.  Thanks for that.

  3. DreamerMeg profile image83
    DreamerMegposted 9 years ago

    Why are they doing that? Do they get money for old cans? I know it takes more of your time but could you take your recycling rubbish to your nearest collection point for a few weeks? If there isn't anything there for a while, maybe they'll stop coming round. Are your neighbours being bothered by this too?

    Of course, if you know what they want and you don't mind them having it, provided they don't leave a mess, why not keep the cans separate in a clear plastic bag. That way, they get what they want and you don't get the mess.

  4. fpherj48 profile image59
    fpherj48posted 9 years ago

    david.....If it wouldn't take up too much of your time and energy.....Separate your trash.   Place totally useless, spoiled & rotted "garbage," into a bag and secure it tightly.....label it as such, if possible.     Put recyclable cans in another and re-usable items in yet another.   In this way, they would make much less of a mess......take what they want, in order to help them survive on the streets, and perhaps everyone will be happy.    I seriously doubt the Police would be able to do much about this, especially if these people visit numerous trash locations.....
    Another thing you might do......that you may see as "crazy".....is leave a bag of packaged snacks with a note that reads:  "Take this food and enjoy".....BUT PLEASE LEAVE THE TRASH ALONE!   Thank you.
    The homeless need to eat too.  You'll be doing a very good deed.

    1. Insane Mundane profile image58
      Insane Mundaneposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, but you need to take your pet snakes that you had hid under the aluminum cans along with those carefully placed pre-set rat traps, out of the recycling bin!   But thanks for the brownies and packaged snacks; ha!

  5. 1kmjs profile image64
    1kmjsposted 9 years ago

    Try to remind yourself that you live in a home, and have food in the fridge. Most of these people are doing this for they have no other means within their world. I'd just let them do it and try not to get to bent out of shape.


    Cover the cans with petroleum jelly. Use an entire jar, really smear it on there. I'm pretty sure that after a week, you will get less visitors.

    1. davidlivermore profile image95
      davidlivermoreposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      These aren't always bums.  I've seen people driving cars scrounging through my trash cans!

    2. 1kmjs profile image64
      1kmjsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Better break out the jelly then.

  6. Jackie Lynnley profile image87
    Jackie Lynnleyposted 9 years ago

    I separate my trash and let whoever wants it take it. I am really not sure who does but I put it away from my can when it is not trash pick up time. I think it is great it is not adding to the landfills. If someone is profiting it doesn't bother me.

  7. toptendeals profile image75
    toptendealsposted 9 years ago

    Set up a water cannon from a roof and spray anyone who approaches. smile  Warning shots first if you are feeling nice. =p

  8. Law Unforcment profile image57
    Law Unforcmentposted 9 years ago

    You can't do anything because due to California v Greenwood the Supreme Court ruled it is not illegal to rummage through trash. The case had to deal with the police collecting trash as evidence for a crime. Greenwood then sewed for illegal search and seizure. Greenwood lost because the Supreme court said tat once you put your trash out there is no expectation of privacy.

  9. profile image49
    AuggieDoggyposted 7 years ago

    Here's a great method. 

    Put pure bleach in a big spray bottle from Lowe's.  When you put your garbage out, spray a healthy dose into the container.  The smell will repel most them, and also disinfects the can. 
    You can also buy containers of deer urine (or your own, but cheap!!!), and put that in the spray bottle.  Sounds nasty, so keep one bottle for spraying the can going out (urine), one for spraying the can going back (bleach).  Bleach kills odor immediately. 

    Beat them at their own game.  Hope this helps (Woof!!!)  Auggie


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