Someone else’s bin

Next in the suburban moral dilemmas: I’m walking down the street, and I have some litter to get rid of, say a food packet or something else that’s small.

Is it okay to put it in someone’s rubbish bin?

I reckon it barely makes a difference to their bin load, and it’s better off in a bin than on the street. Plus I don’t have to handle it anymore, so everybody wins.

Others say it’s wrong to put your litter in somebody else’s bin.

PS. 8:25am Assume the bin is either on the nature-strip (bin day) or only a short distance inside the property, and not behind a gate or fence (eg in the driveway), so you’re not really “intruding” to use it.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

15 replies on “Someone else’s bin”

If it’s small it’s OK to use someone else’s bin. If it’s two weeks’ worth of household garbage, that’s a no-no!

If you were walking past my place and dropped your empty chip packet in my bin which was on the nature strip, I’d much prefer that than you leaving it on the nature strip itself.

Second what Rog says. I think if it’s out it means the owners of the rubbish have therefore put in their week’s worth and if there happens to be space to put something else in whilst it is awaiting pickup then go for it. I certainly wouldn’t crack it if someone put something in mine when it was at the kerb.

You can’t walk into someones property to drop a chip wrapper into their bin – surely that is trespassing. I think its ok when the bin is on the nature strip.


Fine when it’s on the nature strip. But if it’s a neighbour sneaking a big bag of rubbish in because their own bin is overflowing or otherwise engaged, then that’s just rude without checking with the neighbour first.

I concur with most of the other commenters. Small item placed into a bin on a nature strip? Fine, and I also don’t care if someone uses my bin this way (as I have seen happen, and I just smile and wave). Going into a property, even a short way, to use the bin? Not so fine. Dumping big amounts of rubbish or particularly offensive rubbish (eg. dirty nappies, which could stink out an entire street sometimes) – definitely NOT fine.

Well, I’ve done something similar with little “gift bags” of doggie poop. I mean, if I’ve got it there, in hand and there’s a full rubbish bin, why not drop it in, and be done with it? Will the people really care? So, no, I don’t see it as intrusion, if the bin is out near the street, or on the nature strip. If the bin is up close to your house, that’s a different story, I’d say.

In some countries you get charged according to the weight of the rubbish you put out – there it would be wrong. (Someone else would be paying to cart your rubbish away.)

In Australia – we don’t!

(It would only be dodgy to put your rubbish in someone else’s bin if it was just after collection day – and you filled their bin with your crap!)

I don’t think it’s fine if it’s a normal rubbish bin.

If the bin is full and waiting to get collected, chances are the loose chip packet is going to fly out of the bin onto the ground anyway, unless it’s bagged up with other rubbish.

If the bin is empty, the packet is going to stick to the bottom of the bin where the evil bin juice resides.

But if it’s an item that’s recyclable being put in a recyclables bin, I think it’s fine, as it’s acceptable to have loose items in that kind of bin.

Of course its OK…

And I always try and take my garbage out late on bin nights so I can stuff my excess bags into other bins that are not full…

For example, the widow two doors up only ever has her bin 25% full!

*shrugs* If I forget to put a bag out on bin day and the trucks have come around early (for once), I’ll walk around the block and use someone elses bin that hasn’t been emptied. It’s not like the council are charging you per load of rubbish by weight. I’ve been caught a couple times but most people have been more amused that I am in my jammies and barefoot and looking very sleepy and bedraggled with bedhead. So long as said bin is out on verge waiting to be emptied. I’m not silly enough to walk up onto other people’s properties. (Well, I am, but I don’t…)

In our area we have a greens bin as well as a recycle and normal bin and we all borrow each others bins if we are weeding and the others arent. Makes sense to me, I would rather you use my bin for a small amount of rubbish than see it on the ground.

if im walking our 4 legged friend and she drops a ‘little package’ ill put that in the nearest bin, it is wrapped in plastic, by virtue of the collection method.

i think this is better than leaving it for someone to tread in…..and no, im not carrying it all the way home :)

This very minute, a neighbor I don’t know who was taking his dog and daughter for a walk dropped a bag of doggie doo into our trash can as he walked past. It was the only bin on the street because we forgot to bring the stupid thing in last night after trash day. So our laziness will bring us a week of someone else’s crap steaming in a sack – it’s hot here – for a week. Charming. Hopefully we’ve just found motivation to bring our bins back to the garage in a more timely manner.

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