43 Comment

  • Ever opened a trashcan in August after someone put a half eaten chicken and a spilled half-drunken 40 several days before?

    I never understood how someone could throw up from a smell before that brew hit my nose.

  • I bet the same people who lock up their garbage cans also complain incessantly about food litter and rats infesting their neighborhoods.

    • Um, I think locking it would be a pretty good way of keeping rats out of it. They’re more than smart enough to figure out how to open a garbage can lid, but not too many rats are clever enough to pick the lock.

    • The rats chew their way into the cans without a problem — both of mine have access holes they’ve created. My guess is that this person has gotten tired of neighbors whose cans are full or who live in buildings with inadequate private service filling their cans.

  • Dog poop regularly thrown in the non-owner’s can might do it

    • THIS! I HATE this. I don’t have a dog because I have no interest in cleaning up after it and I hate it when I find bags of dog poop in my trash can. The trash guys don’t take it out and it sits in there and amkes such a funk. Take your dog and its poop home. So RUDE.

  • The trash is picked up at least once if not twice a week in DC. Is someone else’s lunch trash or dog poop in a plastic bag really THAT much of an issue? Does your trash smell sweet? Really.

    • Not sure where you live that you have such efficient trash/recycling pick up. We are supposed to have it picked up once a week but they miss it at least twice a month. So, yes, it can be a really big issue.

    • it is in my alley sometimes. especially in the summer.
      when i put trash into my supercan, it is almost always in plastic trash bags, but when feces, carryout food scraps, vinegar based sauces, alcohol, etc, get thrown in the can, it creates a pungent stew as it festers in the bottom, and that soaks into the plastic. therefore even when the trash is picked up, the can still smells to high hell.

      then, when i pull my can in from the alley, my backyard smells to high hell.
      i have to wash and bleach out my supercan 2-3 times a year. all because someone else is too lazy to dispose of waste properly or use the public city cans that get picked up much more frequently.

      so yes, it’s a problem.

    • The problem are the others that beat themselves to my can before I get a chance to put my own crap in it.

    • Another DC mom here, and a dog owner. Yes, chucking your NYT bag of dog crap in my can is a rude. Usually it ends up on top of my neatly tied bag of trash. DC trash guys won’t touch it, even with their gloves, so the stinky little bag of your dogs crap end up at the bottom of my can, by now it is usually smooshed, burst, leaking and just foul. Carry your neatly tied bag of dog poo just a little further to a city trash can, or bring it home to your house a put it in your trash can.

      I’ll admit, that I never got this issue until I actually owned a house and frequently found my trash uncollected b/c there was a bag of dog poo on top of my bag of household trash.

  • When it’s just a little bit, it’s no problem. But our trash and especially recycling bins often get filled before we put our trash/recycling out for the week. I’ll admit the idea of locking it has crossed my mind on occasion as a result.

    • This. It sucks to have to hold festering trash inside your house for several days because someone else filled up your trash cans. And the trash guys always say they’ll pick up bagged trash sitting alongside the cans, but they usually just leave it there – in my experience if it’s not bagged and inside a completely closed trash can it doesn’t get picked up.

  • As many kooks as I see coming down the alley each day searching through the trash, this makes perfect sense. Wouldnt want them getting into some paperwork I forgot to shred with some important / embarrassing numbers.

  • I used to live along H st NE a few years ago. After many (many) months of having our garbage cans be filled with debris from home construction We had to put a lock on our garbage can. We’d go outside to put our garbage in the can and find it overflowing with old carpet, dry wall, wooden window frames. It got to the point where we were getting tickets from the city for illegal dumping. We had to go to court on more then 1 occasion to prove that a house full of 20 something renters weren’t illegally dumping construction debris in the alley. We ended up installing chains to our garbage cans and locking them shut.

  • Yes, locking one’s supercan makes sense. Having had quite enough of stinking dog poop and neighbors’ trash bags filling up my supercan, I keep mine behind a closed gate. If I couldn’t do that, you bet I’d put a padlock on it. Anyone who goes into business offering such padlocks will find plenty of customers.

  • I LOVE this idea! This is what I need to do to ward off all of those people that like to throw their dog poop, mcdonalds bags, empty 40s, etc into my cans instead of using the public receptacles which are literally sitting 30 feet away, or being respectful and bringing it back to their own trashcans down the street.

    It’s even gotten to the point now where people are just letting their dogs crap all over my hell-strip when the cans are full of other people’s trash (not mine) and there’s no room. Sometimes there isn’t even room for my own small bag of trash because other people have gotten to it first.

    Please try to understand — even though you are doing a good thing by throwing your garbage away, you are worsening the situation and making people like me (without alley access or places to store our cans) dislike you, whoever you are. By doing these things, you attract rats to my property.

    Please be respectful to you neighbors and take care of your own trash.

    • I pick up trash in the streets and sidewalks on my walks with the dog every single day in my neighborhood. In a few short blocks, I can fill a plastic grocery bag full of cans, bottles, and all kinds of paper and plastics. I’ve had dozens of neighbors all commend my efforts and now many others are doing the same thing. We use the grocery bag to pick up after our dog and then continue to fill the bag with unsightly liter in neighborhood. We also dispose of these bags in any trash can that is in sight. If you lock your cans, we will politely leave this trash next to your can so that you can dispose of it when you unlock it. If we stop picking up trash, it will only become your mess as are more than likely picking up trash in front of your property. Locking trash cans is really only going to mean that more trash gets tossed in our yards, alleys, streets, and sidewalks. It’s a trash can folks….seriously….

      • I pick up litter on the street too, but can always find a city trash can to put it in. Sometimes the cans are stuffed pretty full, but there’s always room for one more bag. If you are out on the streets walking your dog daily, you probably know where all of the city trash cans are.

        Dumping your trash into a household’s supercan, or even “politely” leaving it next to a locked can, shows that your community spirit, although active, is somewhat uninformed by genuine empathy. Knock on the door and ask the homeowner if it would be okay with them. If they refuse, abide by their wishes.

  • There are no public trashcans near my alley. I appreciate it when someone uses my trashcan to dispose of waste. I would rather they do that then throw it on the ground. As for the smell, well its a trash can. Ever since Oscar moved out, no one has been interested in living in it – so I’ve stopped caring how it smelled.

    • good for you.
      some of us feel differently.

    • My trash can smells pretty good. Vegetable waste doesn’t go into it–that gets buried in the back yard under a foot of packed soil. Meat packages and waste go into the freezer until trash day, when they are put into the 33-gal bag, which is then tied securely and dropped into the supercan.

      This isn’t that much trouble. For us it is necessary because we don’t use air conditioning and have our windows open from May until October.

  • Give me a break, anon…

  • trash cans are owned by the city not by the individual who uses it weekly, the locks are ridiculous

  • Am I the only one wondering how this trash can will get emptied??? Does the owner have the pick-up schedule down to a T?

  • Maybe they have valuable trash?

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