How to Stop Neighbors from Using your Garbage Can

How to Stop Neighbors from Using your Garbage Can

Having someone dump their trash in your garbage can is as rude and arrogant as it seems! Simple permission would have changed the whole scenario.

Imagine you keep running out of space in your garbage can because your neighbor is sharing the garbage can with you. I bet you would be frustrated and super annoyed.

Well, if you’re looking for how to stop neighbors from using your garbage can, you are in the right place. 

To stop your neighbor from using your garbage can, politely confront your neighbor or put a lock on your garbage disposal. You can also move the garbage can into your compound to make it inaccessible for your neighbor to dump their trash.

Can My Neighbour Use my Garbage Can?

Sharing of garbage cans is a thing, though. It will be wise and fair if your neighbor reasons with you about sharing your garbage can. The garbage disposal bill can be split evenly for all to share the costs.

So, yes, your neighbor can use your garbage can provided the bill is to be shared. Or, in a situation when you want to provide some humanitarian assistance for your neighbor, you can allow your neighbor to make use of your garbage can.

When we say humanitarian assistance, we mean providing help to the less privileged.

But, if your neighbor has no agreement in place with you to use your garbage can, it is highly inappropriate for them to dump their trash in your garbage can.

Can I Stop My Neighbour from Using My Garbage Can?

Of course, you can. There is nothing to be worried about, trust me. You can stop your neighbor from using your garbage can.

A lot of people are confused as to how to go about this but it is not a big deal at all. Some neighbors decide to be rude and insensitive but there is a way to go about this.

The key to stopping that neighbor from using your garbage can is to remain civil and polite while you address the situation. A hostile response to your neighbor’s misdemeanor will not provide the solution you need. 

How to Stop Neighbours from Using your Garbage Can?

You cannot stand your neighbor putting excess trash into your garbage can and limiting the space you have left in it, there are a few ways to stem that. For me, if I ever had a neighbor put trash in my garbage can, I would walk up to them and confront them.

Doing things in a civilized way is always the right thing to do. However, on some occasions, this does not produce the desired results.

Some neighbors might outrightly deny the allegations and insult you for daring to accuse them of it. In such cases, it is advisable to have proof that the neighbor has actually been the one stuffing your garbage can. There are some tips in stemming the situation.

1. Make use of a Lock

Locks have always been the go-to method for securing and maintaining one’s privacy. Get a lock for your garbage can and maintain it.

The reason your neighbor uses your garbage can could be that it is more accessible to them than others around so make it inaccessible!

A determined neighbor will hassle and battle to remove the lock but that is just gross and criminal, so putting a lock on your garbage can will go a long way in deterring such future acts.

2. Move your Garbage Can into the Compound

Leaving your garbage can in the public might be an invitation for others to make use of it. Why not move the garbage can into your compound and see how those neighbors can access it? 🙂

3. Confront that Neighbour

If you have tried all the ways listed above, I guess it’s you who confront your neighbor about it. Be polite while doing so but state your points with clarity.

Your neighbor should not be dumping their own trash in your garbage can when you pay bills for it. In some cities, the garbage can disposal is billed according to the weight.

Imagine you have been watching the amount of waste your produce in your home so your garbage can does not get too full and heavy only for your neighbor to top it with their own refuse.

It is unacceptable and no one will like to pay for what you do not use. Your neighbor should understand that and see that it is unfair for you to pay for disposing of their waste also.

4. Contact the Homeowners Association (HOA)

Many times, the HOA is available to resolve issues like this. Contact the HOA in your locality and make the issue known to them. I bet they have policies in place to resolve it. That is why you are a member and pay your HOA fees.

5. The Police is your Friend

If after all these measures have been taken and your neighbor feels it is not right for them to put their trash in your garbage can, you need to involve the Police. The Police will handle the matter and peace of mind is rest assured.

Is it Illegal for Neighbour to Use my Garbage Can?

The fact that you pay for your garbage can disposal either by renting a dumpster or using the local garbage truck is enough reason for it to be termed illegal.

If your neighbor puts their trash in your garbage can constantly and you unknowingly pay for the garbage disposal service, your neighbor is guilty of “theft of services”.

If you place your garbage can inside your compound and your neighbor still finds a way to put their trash in it, it is termed “trespassing”. As you know, that is a punishable offense.

It is illegal for your neighbor to make use of your garbage can without your consent. Dumping your trash into another person’s garbage can without their consent is termed “stealing other people’s paid service”.

Can You Sue your Neighbour from Using your Garbage Can?

Yes, you can sue your neighbor for using your garbage disposal can without your consent because it is an illegal act and a criminal offense.

Although, you can resolve the matter amicably, if the neighbor proves to be tough, make use of CCTVs to catch them in the act. With proof, you can sue and get them fined for such acts.


The thought of your neighbor disposing of their waste in your garbage can (without consent) is as unpleasant as it sounds. You feel cheated and used because you pay for the garbage collection and they do not pay a dime. Use the aforementioned methods to stop your neighbor from using your garbage can but remain civil always.