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Todd Parker Todd Parker
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Dear Todd Parker - (09/09/15)

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I like to think that I'm a considerate neighbor. I mind my own business and try to keep my property looking presentable. I don't make a lot of noise and I pick up after my dog. My attitude is basically a do-unto-others, golden rule deal.

But there's this one person (or people, I can't say for sure) that is really doing a number on things. I can forgive a lot. Live and let live and whatever. Everybody has their stuff. But when someone else's stuff starts to impact my own life, there's only so much I can take.

Basically, my neighbor is bad at trash.

What do I mean by 'bad at trash,' you ask? Well, this jackhole or jackholes doesn't seem to grasp the proper etiquette regarding waste disposal. Trash day is Thursday, but they inevitably start piling crap on the curb on Tuesday night. They don't bother with actual trash cans, so they're just chucking bags of trash out there. As you might guess, by the time Thursday actually rolls around, these bags have been picked apart by birds and whatever other random animals might be wandering around. There's always gross trash everywhere. And when the sanitation guys come by, they pick up the bags, but the rest of the flotsam is still there.

(Let me make it clear, by the way, that I in no way believe this to be the responsibility of a sanitation worker. They have enough to do without having to try and chase down every yogurt cup and dirty napkin blowing around out there. They are fulfilling their part of the social contract in full. It's my neighbor who sucks.)

What can I do about this? Do I have any recourse? Or do I just have to keep hustling my dog by this house every week to avoid him eating something foul? I just want my neighborhood to look nice.

Trashed in Bangor

Dear Trashed,

People do suck, don't they? Especially people who are incapable of functioning as part of normal society they're just the worst.

Unfortunately, I don't know that there's a whole lot that you can do about it. I'm not sure what good a complaint would do or even where you would lodge such a complaint. I suppose you could reach out and try to talk to these people, but the truth is that if the weekly trash whirlwinds swirling in front of their house haven't dissuaded them, it seems unlikely that a conversation is going to have much of an effect.

Ordinarily, I would suggest some sort of passive-aggressive (or maybe aggressive-aggressive) shaming technique, but even that seems like it would ultimately be ineffective. Anyone who would rather have a yard filled with rotting fruit and chicken bones than spring for a garbage can is probably far beyond the reach of any mere embarrassment.

Your best bet and I can't even believe I'm going to suggest this might be to kill them with kindness. Maybe the next time you're out, drop 20 bucks on a garbage can and leave it on their porch. Leave a note if you want, though I can't imagine what you could write that wouldn't come off as the aforementioned passive-aggression. Just leave it and then melt away into the shadows; you'll be like Trash Can Batman.

If that doesn't work, wellthen it might be time to start fighting dirty. Or trashy, as it were. Best of luck to you.

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 September 2015 22:24


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