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Doo-bee, Doo-Bee, Doo

I live in a country setting and occasionally take my dog on a visit to my daughter who lives in town. We have walked our dogs together around her neighborhood. At home I clean up after my dog and dispose of it in my own trashcan. While daughter and I were walking my dog went and I bagged it of course. A small distance away was a trashcan at the curb and it had not been emptied yet. I casually dropped my dirty bag into the can and continued on with my walk. My daughter was horrified that I would use someone else’s can even if it was at the curb. I thought there was nothing wrong with not wanting to carry you know what for quite awhile to put it in her trashcan. Was I wrong? 0923-13

As long as your bag of dog doo is securely tied in such a way as to not splat all over the inside of the neighbor’s trash can thus requiring them to clean it, I don’t see what the problem is.  Trash cans are for trash.   And I am sure the neighbors would prefer that you dispose of the bag in a receptacle designed for that purpose rather than what this neighbor did:


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  • Lex September 26, 2013, 3:00 am

    I’m going to disagree with the admin on this one, although this may be more of a UK/USA cultural difference than a ‘disagreement’ as such.

    In the UK, each household is assigned a ‘Black bin’ (for domestic waste) and a Green Bin (for recycling) and depending on the areas, they get emptied every alternating week (so Green bin, then black bin, then green bin again and so on). For the most part our bins are stored on our property and put out on our assigned collection day – it is considered inappropriate to trespass on anothers property to put YOUR waste in THEIR bin. In the UK there are public waste bins and dog waste bins designed for this purpose. If I caught someone disposing of their dog waste into my domestic bin I’m afraid they’d likely get it thrown back at them – I don’t want that on my property stinking up the place and attracting flies, it’s disgusting.

    I believe you were in the wrong to put your dog waste into a domestic trash can – dog waste (even bagged) is unsanitary and attracts insects. You should have taken responsibility for this yourself and either disposed of it in a public trash can designated for the purpose or disposed of it at your daughters house.

    Perhaps this is a cultural difference, but I can’t imagine anyone would be happy to have their trash receptacles play host to the foulness of your dogs leavings, regardless of whether it is about to be emptied or not!

  • lkdrymom September 26, 2013, 5:36 am

    I have to agree with the daughter. My trash can is for MY trash, not yours. And just because the bag did not open does not mean that my can will not smell of dog doo.

  • Miss-E September 26, 2013, 6:10 am

    Well…I know of at least one person who would mind. My landlady’s mother lives in my building and is rather obsessive about the trash (very specific rules as to what color bags can be used for what – her rules, mind, not city rules). One day I was walking past the cans and noticed that the bag of paper recycling I had put in the can the day before was on the sidewalk. We have people who come through the neighborhood collecting anything that you can get money for, so I assumed one of them had pulled it out while going through the can, so I stuck it back in the can. (And yes, that was the specifically marked paper recycling can). I noticed it out a day or so later and as I was putting it back in my neighbor came out to yell at me. Turns out, it was on the sidewalk because she didn’t want to get the cans “all dirty”…so she’s probably mind if you stuck dog poop in her trash can.

    But I am sharing this story purely anecdotally. IMHO, the OP didn’t do anything wrong and if someone objects its just because they are as nuts as my neighbor.

  • The Elf September 26, 2013, 6:32 am

    Is it still okay when the garbage collectors don’t grab your little baggie (for whatever reason), and I have to fish it out of the bottom of the can, where it’s sat in the rain all day and stuck? No, it’s not okay. It’s not as bad as not picking it up or throwing it some weird place like the guy in the video, but it’s still rude. Just put it in your own trash can!

  • Rodinne September 26, 2013, 6:42 am

    Depending on their location, the trash can may also not be “theirs.” In my current city, trash cans for private homes are the property of the city sanitation office. I have no problem using my neighbor’s trash can if it is trash day, it is already out by the curb, and the trash has not been picked up. Since I walk past their can on the way to the bus stop instead of my own, if I’m carrying a paper towel or something, in it goes.

    In my former city cans were private property though, and I wouldn’t have done that.

  • Nicky September 26, 2013, 6:52 am

    The daughter is right. There may be by-laws against it as well, and the neighbour may be fined depending on how well they are enforced. Dog waste, where I live, belongs in the organic waste bin.

  • Kjaki September 26, 2013, 6:52 am

    I have to disagree with Admin. In our area not only is it considered very rude to put anything in another persons trashcan, if caught you will be fined.

  • A September 26, 2013, 7:00 am

    Maybe because I have a dog, but I wouldn’t care if a neighbor threw a bag of dog doo my trash can. It’s a trash can not a part of my living room set…it stinks and it stays in my garage.

  • Alicia September 26, 2013, 7:16 am

    I would mind as my trash company does not pick up by upturning the bins but instead by fishing out the bags . Thus the little bag would not be picked up and i would have to put in in a bigger bag and I am allergic to dogs.

  • Ashley 2 September 26, 2013, 7:16 am

    I’m kind of on the fence with this one; I agree with admin that OP was causing no harm in throwing her bag in a different trash can, but if it happened to be a privately owned trashcan then I can understand the daughter’s reaction. However, I don’t think you ruined anyone’s day by throwing away poop OP 😛

  • Margaret September 26, 2013, 7:24 am

    I wouldn’t do that. We double-bag our dog waste: all the little bags get put into another larger bag. I wouldn’t want a neighbor using our trash can with a possibly poorly wrapped bag of stuff. What if the garbage collector sees only our larger bags of trash and empties the can bag by bag instead of tipping it? I’m left with your dog poop.

  • Gracie Lou Freebush September 26, 2013, 7:27 am

    I live on an extremely busy street and people walk their dogs by my house all day long. On trash day I frequently find a baggie of dog doo in the can AFTER the trash has been picked up. It’s mildly annoying but doesn’t bother me too much…as long as the Baggie is tied up and the lid has been put on so rain doesn’t get in, etc. I figure it will get thrown out the following week and I’m glad the dog owner is being responsible instead of leaving the poop on a very public street.

  • Susan September 26, 2013, 7:29 am

    No, I am not happy when the neighbors put their trash in my “private” trash can. The trash collectors are weird, they won’t take little bags because they lift them out of the cans rather than pick them up and dump them. A little bag of poo would end up in the bottom of my can or on the street. There are plenty of public, lined cans people can use, or, they can just dispose of it in their own trashcan when they get home.

  • M3 September 26, 2013, 7:35 am

    @Lex – she said the can was at the curb.
    In the US, that means it’s waiting for pickup and is not on the owner’s property (at least in my city, the swath of grass by the curb belongs to the city as do the trash cans).
    Also, as another reader pointed out, trash cans used for collection day in many US cities belong to the city, not the home owner. These are also color coded for trash, recycling, yard-waste, etc. They are city property, even though stored on the homeowner’s property when not awaiting collection.

    And in many US cities, trash cans are not allowed to be put out before the day of collection, so if the can is still full and waiting on collection, the dog waste will not be in there for more than a few hours at most before it’s picked up.

    That all said, I still always carry dog waste to my own trash cans or the dog park can. Because poo stinks.

  • jd September 26, 2013, 7:49 am

    Gee, people sure seem protective of their trash cans! In our town, the city owns the cans, and there are no public cans handy in residential areas, in which one could drop the “droppings.” If the can was at the curb, it was trash day, and the baggie being on top meant it would certainly be disposed of along with the rest of the trash. When taking walks in town or visiting family in town, I see people dispose of tied doggie bags, empty drink cups, random litter they find on their walk, etc., in the nearest trash can all the time. Maybe some people mind, but I’ve not heard of anyone who does — till now. I live outside the city in the country, myself, and people driving by constantly find it convenient to just throw their trash IN MY YARD, which means I have to get gloves and go pick up their garbage (which once included a used condom) and haul it to the dump along with my trash. And some folks want to complain about people neatly using a can standing ready for pickup?

  • that_one_girl September 26, 2013, 8:04 am

    I’ve been watching too much Law and Order, because my mind immediately imagined some poor person being interrogated about where their nonexistant dog was after the detectives found some dog doo in their trashcan.

  • CJ September 26, 2013, 8:04 am

    I have to disagree with the admin here. There are many cities where the trashmen will not pick up loose items in the can, but will only grab the trash bags. Now there’s a small bag of dog doo left behind in my trash can that I have to deal with. Even if the trash can is one that can be picked up on a robotic arm and dumped into the trash truck, can you be absolutely certain that when the trash is dumped that something heavy the home owner might have throw away won’t break the doogie doo bag and smear feces all over the inside of their trash can? No, you can’t. So use your own trash can!

  • Cat September 26, 2013, 8:08 am

    It would not bother me at all. What bothers me is people who use the bed of my truck as their garbage can. I can go shopping and find fast food bags, aluminum cans, etc. in the bed of my truck put there by people too lazy to take them to the recycling bin or the trash can. If it blows out, I’ll be the one charged with littering so I have to dispose of the waste myself.

  • jehauck September 26, 2013, 8:14 am

    I don’t feel right putting a bag of dog droppings in someone else’s trash. I always carry it home, flush it down the toilet, and the dispose of the bag in my own trash can (in the garage, not inside the house)

  • Shawn September 26, 2013, 8:27 am

    I disagree with the admin. I have had neighbors think my trash can is fair game when they want to throw out anything that stinks—including rotten fish. I put a note on the can the next time I put it out for them to keep out of my trash!

  • Wild Irish Rose September 26, 2013, 8:29 am

    Where I live, if you put your trash into someone else’s trash can or Dumpster, it’s a crime. It’s called “Theft of Services.” The person whose receptacle you are using is paying for the use of that receptacle, and you don’t have any right to put your trash into it without permission. I get that carrying a bag of dog leavings home isn’t pleasant (and kudos to OP for cleaning up after her dog), but do it anyway, and put it in your own trash can.

  • Alexis September 26, 2013, 8:29 am

    I think it realy depends on the circumstances if the person whose trash can you would have used. As a perpetual apsrtmebt-dweller I would have minded at our old apartment but not our new one. It depends on trash collection in your area,methods of cillection, popularity of the area, etc. but for the most part I would say to not do it. Be on the safe side. It may cause more work for someone so why risk it?

  • ketchup September 26, 2013, 8:31 am

    Putting trash in other people’s bins is very much not done here in the Netherlands. 😉
    But then, they weren’t here.

  • PrincessButtercup September 26, 2013, 8:39 am

    On the one side, people tend to be territorial and don’t want you messing with anything of theirs (including their discards). On the other hand it is a trash can that is intended to hold trash.

    Where I live though, our trash man will only take large bags. We have 30 gal trash bags and everything must be put in those. So here, if someone tossed a small bag of poo in our can, it would stay there till we removed it and added it to a bigger bag and I’d be quite unhappy to have to do that.

  • manybellsdown September 26, 2013, 8:47 am

    As long as it’s actually the TRASH can, and it’s securely tied and to be picked up. I’ve had far too many people toss their dog waste into my recycle bin.

  • momofeveryone September 26, 2013, 8:53 am

    id rather the poo in the can then on the ground where my kids will step in it. toss away!

    *our city owns the cans and has a truck that picks them up and dumps them. i have yet to see anything not come out!

  • A September 26, 2013, 9:01 am

    After reading some of the other responses, I’ll admit it does matter how your garbage system is set-up. If cans are privately owned or items are only removed from it in the large bags, then I can see were a person would be miffed if a stanger’s dog poo was left. However, I’m certain the OP knew her neighborhood’s trash system and, therefore, would have some idea on whether this was okay or not.

    If anyone is my area and sees me trash waiting to be picked up, feel free to drop the poo. For that matter, if it has been picked up go ahead and use my can…I don’t generally check and it’s better than leaving it on my doorstep.

    On a side note, yesterday I added two full bags of garbage to my neighbor’s nearly empty can because mine was very full. I have yet to hear anything…but I was a little nervous. 😉

  • Katana September 26, 2013, 9:08 am

    Wow! People are so uptight about their garbage bins. I see no problem with putting the doggie do in someone’s bun rather than someone else’s. We even used our neighbours bin for our stuff, with his permission, as he was away more often than not and the council provided tiny bins and only collected fortnightly.

  • Jinx September 26, 2013, 9:17 am

    While the concept doesn’t sound wrong (put trash in a bin), I agree with some others on here that it’s probably not a good idea for many of the reasons mentioned.

    OP may have double bagged with flowery fresh smelling poo bags, but if the neighbor saw her dropping poo in the bin, they might not know that. Even if they did, as many have mentioned, some people aren’t comfortable with other people using their trash.

    Another point to think about is what was already in the bin. What if there were something sharp that OP couldn’t see, but somehow the poo bag shifts, and gets punctured by the sharp object… then the garbage services people and the neighbor will be upset.

    I fully support OP as a poop-bagger (so many of my own neighbors seem to like to pretend they didn’t see their dogs pooping), and I fully support putting trash into a bin… but, like some others, I think for the neighbor’s comfort, it may be better to keep the bag with you until you hit home or a public bin.

    I watched the video and was absolutely horrified. How someone could do this to a neighbor multiple times and not actually have anything against them is beyond me. I can’t believe that gentleman who took the video was so calm, collected and appropriate in his reactions, but I was delighted it didn’t get ugly. Well, uglier than a person who doesn’t know you hiding plastic bags of poo in your property every day, like some sort of angry Easter bunny. The gall of the poo-tosser to say he felt “embarrassed”. Embarrassed he was caught, but not by his actions. Disgusting.

  • AnnaMontana September 26, 2013, 9:18 am

    I’m in agreement with Lex…it may be a cultural thing. If someone put doggie poo into my bins, I would be furious, regardless of it being in a plastic bag or not. It would still stink up my bin, especially if you put it into the black one (which is for domestic waste) and my bin cleaning company have a policy of ‘double-charging’ for overly smelly bins. This type of thing drives me insane. We have a fairly open garden and a lot of people use our recycling containers as bins. We’ve actually contacted the council on this issue, because the bin men refused to take our rubbish, due to idiots putting the wrong waste in the wrong bin. It’s since been sorted, but now I’m super-cautious about any rubbish going into the bin, and anyone who puts ANYTHING into our bin gets a good old polite spine ‘You cannot use our bins to dispose of your waste, if you persist, I will contact the council.’ Also, I am trying for a baby and my GP told me to avoid ALL cases of dog mess (even my parent’s who have dogs no longer get a visit.) and therefore, cleaning your muck out of my bin could compromise this. (The council do not take anything ‘suspicious’ ie: if it looks like doggie poo, they wont take it.) So I would say hang onto it until you reach an approved receptacle or take it back home.
    The bin men here are also only allowed to take certain weight bins and this ‘little bag of dog leavings’ could put you over-weight or over-full. Thus you wouldn’t have your bin collected.
    Reminds me of the song: Don’t put your muck in our dustbin, our dustbin’s full!

  • Meegs September 26, 2013, 9:23 am

    I find the daughter’s persective completely bizarre and I agree with the Admin.

  • Kiki September 26, 2013, 9:24 am

    I have to disagree. In our neighborhood, we have to pay a service to take our garbage. That means we own the cans and have signed paperwork saying what can be thrown in there and how it needs to be bagged. Why should I get in trouble so that you don’t have to be inconvenienced?

  • LisaB September 26, 2013, 9:25 am

    As Nicky said, you also should check that there aren’t any laws about pet waste disposal. In my city, pet waste has to be flushed—you aren’t supposed to put it in the trash cans. The unsuspecting owner of that trash can could find her/himself with a fine for something you did.

  • Cammie September 26, 2013, 9:35 am

    “I thought there was nothing wrong with not wanting to carry you know what for quite awhile to put it in her trashcan. Was I wrong?”


    Your daughter was correct in being horrified by your behavior. You may do as you please on your country property, but don’t bring your entitlement to town.

    Are you writing because you got a dressing down by your daughter and want to be vindicated?

    Your argument boils down to “it’s yucky and too hard to do the right thing, so I do what I want.”

  • M3 September 26, 2013, 9:37 am

    Oh, internet, I love you. So many things to learn about so many places!

    It never occurred to me that there were so many trash procedures around the world.

    It kind of blows my mind that trash collectors in some places still reach into trash cans manually to remove bags rather than dump the whole thing in the truck.

  • Hanna September 26, 2013, 9:38 am

    I’d have to disagree with admin. Yes, trash is trash, however, that trash can is not the OP’s property, and should therefore not be used without permission.

  • Library Diva September 26, 2013, 9:40 am

    Agree with jd #14. Working at a community newspaper, I noticed how funny people are about their trash. Whenever providers were changed, pickup days were changed, boy were people concerned! And the switch from small recycling bins to wheeled totes provided weeks of controversy.

    Personally, I’d much rather someone throw their bagged dog poo in my bin at the curb than just walk away from it. There is no public trash can convenient to my block, so when my bins are at the curb, for the short time they’re accessible to passerby every week, have at it. Even if the bag breaks open and stinks up my tote, I don’t care. It’s not like I have to sleep in there or anything. The totes smell bad anyway. Obviously, people shouldn’t use their neighbor’s trash cans if they want to break the disposal rules in their area (ie throw out a TV when they know they’re not supposed to) or just because something smells too bad for their own can (seriously?) But I’d much rather have strange dog doo in my tote than on my sidewalk or front yard.

  • Jarrett September 26, 2013, 9:40 am

    I will also have to respectfully disagree with admin. We also have a dog and we don’t put his business in our garbage can until the night before pickup. We have black bins, they get quite warm in the summer and any offensive smelling garbage that is left in there is emphasized by the heat, smells will often intensify and waft into our yard. The smell of dog poop seems to linger in the garbage can even after it has been emptied.
    Since this was at the curb they could have been awaiting pickup that day, or they may have missed the pickup in the morning (as I have before) and are stuck with the garbage for another week, if this is the case there is also the chance that the bag can break open when other garbage is thrown on top.
    Would it be akin to shoveling all of the snow from my driveway to the street directly in front of your driveway because I’m assuming that the snow plow will be coming by that day?

  • Whodunit September 26, 2013, 9:48 am

    We pay according to the number of trash bags picked up — so yes, don’t throw anything extra in my bin cause I’m not paying for your doggy doo bag!

  • Nicole September 26, 2013, 9:54 am

    I used to not mind until someone put their doggy bag in my recycling bin (trash and recycling get picked up on different days) and then another time, someone put the bag in my trash can…after the trash had been picked up but before I had a chance to move it back to the house so it would sit there for another week. Yuck.

  • Kristin September 26, 2013, 10:10 am

    In my town, the city has fancy trucks that pick up and empty the trashcans. The workers don’t even get out of the trucks. I have a garbage bag of used cat litter in there, so who cares?

    But what really chaps my hide is when someone puts their dog waste in my trash can AFTER the can has been emptied. NOW what do I do with it? Fortunately, this is very rare.

  • Allie September 26, 2013, 10:13 am

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with Admin on this one. I don’t think you should put anything in a private garbage can. I am probably oversensitive on this issue as our neighbours are constantly putting their trash in our can to the point where we have to be very careful to secure it in between pickups. We are only entitled to fill one bin and trash is only picked up every other week now (in between they pick up compost and recyclables), so we can’t afford to have others putting trash in our bin. I know a tiny and properly secured poo bag seems harmless, but where does it end? A few weeks ago my husband went to take the trash out and there was a rather large dead tabby in there. It was very upsetting. The city came and took it away but my husband had to retrieve it out of the bin and put it in a bag. Please, unless you are the city trash collector, keep your hands off other people’s garbage.

  • livvy17 September 26, 2013, 10:28 am

    I’m with the daughter, and the others who mind. We live on a very busy pedestrian street, so this happens to us A LOT. Unfortunately, the garbagemen only pick out the big bags, so we are left with the duty of fishing out the little “presents” and repackaging them…..so they will sit in our garage for another week, stinking (especially in the summer!!) while we wait for next week’s pickup. Not cool.

  • Allie September 26, 2013, 10:28 am

    I just wanted to add, after reading some of the other comments, that just because the bins are owned by the city does not make them fair game for anyone. I pay rather heavy taxes for both the bin and the collection service, and again, I am limited to filling one bin per two weeks. The space and the service are my property. If you don’t like carrying around your dog doo doo, don’t have a dog.

  • Harley Granny September 26, 2013, 10:56 am

    Wow…I had no idea that there were so many garbage collecting rules and that there were so many people uptight about their garbage. Entitlement issues? Really?

    I would be so happy that they actually picked up their doggies doo doo that I wouldn’t care if they did put it in my garbage bin.

    Now saying this I know that it wouldn’t get in there after the garbage had been picked up because ours is picked up at 6:30 in the AM and I personally put the can back in the garage before I leave for work.

    It is also a rather large city owned bin that is picked up and dumped via a mechanical arm. Everything goes in.

  • Kovi September 26, 2013, 11:13 am

    I don’t see why so many people think this is rude to do. The trash was out by the curb, apparently ready to be picked up (I know many people who keep their trash close to the house except on pick-up days), so it’s not like the OP was trespassing on anyone’s property. A few people have complained that dog pop is smelly and attracts bugs. Trash ‘also’ attracts bugs, so unless your trash magically doesn’t stink, there are bugs in there, already.

    It just seems like such a petty thing to complain about. A pet owner was responsible, bagged their dog’s pop and disposed of it legally. In all likelihood, you would never, ever know it had even been there. What’s the issue?

  • Stacey Frith-Smith September 26, 2013, 11:15 am

    Sounds like this issue could go either way depending on the location and circumstances. Since that is the case- being responsible for disposing of the waste in your own home (or your host’s home, in this case) makes the most sense. It’s humorous that your desire to dispose of the waste early has to do with not wanting to carry it for the course of the walk. That should tell you how others would feel if, inadvertently, they were left to deal with the “fallout” from your choice.

  • Calli Arcale September 26, 2013, 11:31 am

    I would rather the poo go in my trash can than be left on my lawn, like so many dog-walkers seem to think is okay to do. But the proper thing to do really is to carry it to your home and dispose of it there. It’s not something you’re going to get in trouble for, but most communities actually do have fairly strict laws pertaining to trash collection, and random people adding stuff messes up the system. I hope that OP at least made sure it was a trash can where dog waste can legally be placed; if you put it in the recycling bin by mistake or a yard waste bin, the homeowner may be fined if the trash collector happened to notice.

  • SaltWater September 26, 2013, 11:55 am

    In my area, dog waste has to be double bagged before it will be picked up. If you just drop it in, it will stay there. I put my bags inside another trash bag (one that doesn’t look like the poop-pick up bags) to avoid this.

  • Ergala September 26, 2013, 11:55 am

    I disagree with the admin. At our old place the garbage had to be sorted a specific way. All cans had to be rinsed, glass had to be rinsed…if it wasn’t the person was fined who was dropping off the trash at the dump. We had new neighbors who filled their trash cans and then proceeded to dump their trash into OUR bins. And they didn’t use bags either, it was loose food, pizza boxes, you name it. Our landlord started yelling at us daily over the garbage. We tried to explain it wasn’t us and it wasn’t until stuff showed up that I had a very clear allergy to that he spoke to them. They had dumped shrimp into our can, just the tails. Raccoons and skunks spread the garbage all over our garage where our trash bins were located. Guess who got to clean it up….yup me.