Is It Against the Law to Throw Trash In Someone Else’s Dumpster in Washington State?
Your garbage can is sacred. It has one purpose, to shelter your refuse from the elements and local critters until your friends from Waste Management stop by and empty it. So, who is it who keeps putting their garbage into my can?
At one time or another we have all done it. Your neighbors can, a dumpster in a parking lot. Something as small as a candy wrapper or a coffee cup. You know what pisses me off? Someone who leaves their half empty drink on top of the dumpster. They apparently don’t have the energy to lift the lid and just drop it in. Now I’m curious, In the state of Washington is it against the law to throw trash in someone else’s garbage can or dumpster?
The simple answer is yes but... It’s a little different in each town.
In Seattle the P.D. says “Technically it is illegal … but I don’t think we get that many calls for this”. Seattle’s municipal code 21.36.440 says “It is unlawful for anyone not authorized by the property owner or occupant to deposit any material in any solid waste container on private property or on a sidewalk or a planting strip abutting private property.”
But does anyone actually get busted for that?
In Spokane, “Depositing or disposing of any garbage, litter or discarded items • in any public place, public park or in the waters within the city limits. • on private property of another without the property owner’s permission. • into any garbage can, dumpster or other receptacle located on the property of another, except for containers placed in an area and designated for public use.”
I was at the office the other day and looked out a window and saw a van parked next to our dumpster in the alley and the owner of the van was dumping her trash into our dumpster.
So, what can you do? I did a little research on the web, and this is what I found.
Here are a few tips to help minimize the chances of having others throw their trash into your dumpster:
Keep your dumpster in an enclosed area.
Put a tarp over the dumpster.
Some dumpsters can be secured with a chain and pad lock.
Keep your dumpster in a well-lit area.
Use a short-term rental dumpster.
Keep your dumpster away from public walkways.
Put up a sign.