Can You Move Someone’s Trash Cans to Park Your Vehicle?

Can You Move Someone’s Trash Cans to Park

Sometimes it’s sheer ignorance of the etiquette and sometime people are used to behaving in the oddest manner possible. People moving other people’s trash cans is not something new when they want to park their vehicle. In this article, we’ll see whether someone should actually do it or not!

Can You Move Someone’s Trash Cans to Park Your Vehicle?

You can move someone’s trash cans only if they have placed it on your property or on the streets (public property) on a non-pick up day. Not all places allow placing the trash cans on the street even on pick up days, so check your local municipality rules for that.

Areas Where Trash Cans Are NOT Placed on the Streets

In many areas (such as Portland), It is unlawful to place your trash bins on the public space (such as the street).

Even on the trash pickup day, the trash cans must be placed on the owner’s property and not on the street (where cars have to be parked).

If the empty trash cans are on the public street, you definitely can and should move them to make room for your car to be parked. It is a good idea to move the cans to the owner’s property (if you can figure out whose trash can it is).

Caution: Some areas can be highly unsafe and people are involved in fights (using weapons). So moving someone else’s property (even if you are right) in such an area can pose a threat to your life.

If the trash cans are already on the owner’s property or a boulevard in front of their house, you do not have a right to move the bins.

Areas Where Trash Cans NEED to Be Placed on the Streets

In some areas such as Albuquerque, trash cans have to be Placed at a distance from parked cars in order for the trucks to easily access the trash cans.

If it’s the garbage pickup day and the trash cans are still on the street, unpicked by the garbage guys, then you must wait for the trash pickup before you can move the cans.

If the pickup has been done and the time for take back the trash cans to one’s home has elapsed, then you feel free to move the trash cans to make way for parking.

What Can You Do If Someone Keeps Moving Your Trash Cans?

Before thinking about taking action about the trash cans being moved around, you need to ask yourself whether you are really affected by it or in fact are being benefited by it. Sometimes, people are doing a favor to you by moving your trash cans closer to your home when those are coming in other people’s way.

If you are convinced that you do need to take some solid action, then make sure that you thoroughly know the guidelines of your waste management company, specific to your area. Though it may seem like the neighbors are breaking the laws sometimes, it may might just be the case that they are not.

1- The obvious first step is to let your neighbor (or landlord) know that this practice of theirs is making you concerned. It is a good idea to keep your tone serious while talking to them to impress upon them the gravity of the matter.

Note: In case you have already agreed upon moving the trash cans or have a friendly neighbor, but the trash can is damaged in the course of moving it, the person who the trash can belongs to can sue the other person for repairs.

2- If they don’t top and it is cold in your area, fill the trash cans with water, every time the offender places them in inappropriate places. Water will freeze and give the neighbors a hard time.

3- If talking to neighbor or filling their cans with water doesn’t help then the next step is to inform the trash company (because this might cause an error in billing the right persons for the trash cans, leading to someone else being charged).

4- In United States and Canada, usually you can call up your local Municipal authority for non-emergency issues by dialing 311.

You can report the people who have placed loose trash or even trash cans on the street. Be ready with the details of your street number, neighbor’s house number, etc. Most probably the authorities will fine the offenders. You might have to repeatedly report them until they get the lesson.

5- You can also report the offenders to the department of Public Health by calling on their helpline or using the form on their website.

6- If the person keeps on putting their trash cans in your parking space, on non-pick up days or long after the pick up is complete, you can take legal action against them. You would need to take legal advise for that. Suing them for unlawful use of your land is one option.

Whatever action you take, just bear in mind that the neighbor might decide to retaliate and damage your parked car in some way. It is good to use a security camera to keep an eye on your parked car.

What Can You Do to Make Sure That Your Parking Space Remains Free?

1- Try to keep your parking space blocked by parking you own vehicle/s there so that the neighbor does not have the opportunity to place his trash cans there.

2- Try to be mindful of the fact that if you place your trash cans in someone else’s property, they will hit you back with the same punch. On the day of pick-up, place your trash can at the end of your driveway. After the pick up is done, move it back as soon as possible.

3- Keep a good healthy relation with your neighbors so that trivial matters like trash can issues get solved by a friendly chat. You may want to have mutual verbal agreements with each other on moving each other’s trash cans a bit when parking is a problem.


You can move someone else’s trash cans only if they are illegitimately and carelessly left out on the street in an area that doesn’t permit this. Or you might move those garbage cans if they’re left out long after the pick-up day. Before taking any action, make sure you are aware of the local municipality rules by checking their website.

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