Then how to stop neighbors from using your garbage can? It is good to ask them politely not to use your bin.

However, if they don't stop using it, use tricks discussed in the later section to make your garbage can secure from nearby residents.

How to stop neighbors from using your garbage can? - Explained

How to stop neighbours from using your garbage can

Sharing an outdoor garbage can is not controversial, but only if all users compromise on the disposal bills. However, it is illegal and unethical if someone is using your bin without letting you know.

You can stop it by using the following tricks best suit you. Let's explore all methods to secure your wastebasket.  

1- Install security cameras

Install security cameras

You may know that dumping trash in someone else's can is theft of service. So, you may take action against the illegal user, but only with authentic proof.

If you are fed up with the occupants' trash dumping practice, installing security cameras will work. This way, you can get footage of your nearby residents using your trash without permission.

After this, you may call the police by filing a report for the theft of service. It will work for you to stop the neighbors from using your bin.

2- Lock your outdoor garbage can

Lock your outdoor garbage can

Locking your garbage can with its lid is another useful idea to make it secure from the neighbors. When you lock the bin, they will automatically understand your intentions and will not use your wastebasket anymore.  

Here, you may wonder about how to lock the garbage can. It's not a big deal; purchase universal straps that will help you lock the lid of your outdoor bin.

However, if you are considering buying a new can, select the one with an inbuilt key lock. It will be a great and secure addition that will keep your neighbors from using your trash bin.

3- Observe neighbor's activity

If you want to catch your neighbor red-handed, it is good to observe their activity. You may consider driving around the neighborhood for it. When your nearby resident understands you are observing him, he will no longer use your can.

This activity will help you stop other activities, like someone leaving the trash bag on the crosswalk. When you catch them red-handed, you may consider politely talking to them.

If they behave rudely, call the police. This useful tip is also functional to keep your outdoor space tidy.

4- Record neighbor's activity on cellphone

Your cell phone will also work for you to know who is using your trash container. Set it on recording and place it on any side balcony to see who your culprit is. It will help you to save time that you were to waste on physical observation.

Once you recognize the culprit, try to stop him ethically. However, calling the police will also help you if he doesn't respond properly.

5- Try confrontation

Once you are clear about the person using your trash bin, try confronting him directly. Ask him not to use your garbage container without your permission. Be humble and control yourself while talking to him. If he agrees to a reasonable solution, it is good for you both. But if he doesn’t treat you friendly, you may call the police for assistance.

6- File a complaint to the concerned association

If your residential area has some Home-Owners' Association (HOA), filing a complaint will help you trace your culprit. The association will not only help you in tracing him but will also propose any practical solution to your issue. It is a good strategy if you wish for a friendly settlement.

7- Move the garbage can to a  private space

Occasionally, your neighbors may restart dumping their trash in your garbage container after a little pause. It means they are too shameless to stop using your bin.

Moving the waste bin to private space is the only way to hide your garbage container from neighbors. So, move it inside your house and inform the garbage collectors about it. After dumping the trash, they will collect the bin from inside your house and replace it with its position.

It is a good strategy, particularly if you fail in the above methods. Moreover, the strategy will be effective if you don't want to ask anyone to settle your issue.

Is it illegal to use a neighbor's garbage can?

One's locality decides whether using a neighbor's garbage can is illegal or not. The rules for using trash containers vary from city to city, so you should figure out the rules of your area on it.

Mostly, people pay trash collectors for the disposal of the trash. If you also pay for this service, it means using someone else's garbage can is illegal, and any violence will result in legal action.

On the other hand, if you don't pay for your garbage disposing service, you may or may not allow your neighbors to use your can. You may share the can with neighbors if you don't have much trash.

Moreover, one can ask the nearby residents to compromise on the garbage disposal bills if they want to share the can. Using a neighbor's trash container without permission is not a good practice for the following reasons.  

  • It is an unethical act and may result in some extreme controversy.
  • The garbage can owner has invested in purchasing it and maybe paying for disposal service.
  • The act is "theft of service" and may result in some legal punishment.

All these facts demand not to use anyone else's garbage container. Rather invest in your trash container to avoid any controversy in society.  


If your neighbors are using your garbage can, it is annoying. This act will be very irritating if you are paying for its disposal. However, certain DIY solutions, as mentioned above, will effectively secure your trash container.

Exploring tricks for "how to stop neighbors from using your garbage can?" is a good idea to keep your nearby residents from using your can. Using any of the abovementioned methods will work for you to get effective results. Stay tuned for the next episode of garbage fixtures!

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