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I probably am. Go ahead and flame me. Someone is always taking things out of our recycling bin and I don't know how I feel about it.

(60 Posts)
Jacksmama Wed 02-Sep-09 21:42:14

We live in a townhouse complex and the recycling collection comes every Weds so we put our blue bins out in the morning. And every Weds, this man comes around with a huge plastic trash sack and takes drink cans, glass, and plastic bottles out (the ones you can redeem for cash). He does it quite openly, and yet, if this makes sense, in a somewhat furtive manner. I've had my front door open and have been sat MNing at the computer in plain view and he started rummaging in our bin, then caught sight of me, started, and hurried off to the next set of bins. Even though I didn't say anything to him or even glared. (Really, I didn't.)

So <takes deep breath and gets ready for a flaming> I don't know how I feel about him doing this without asking us.

On one hand, we've put them out in the recycling bin. So, clearly, we're not going to bring them to the bottle depot for the little bit of cash we could get for them.

On the other hand, really, until the recycling truck comes by, we do own everything in the bin, so I'd quite have appreciated it if this man could have rung our bell and asked if it was all right for him to take the cans and bottles since we clearly didn't want them, or even have done this the day he saw me through the open front door at the computer.

Really - I don't mind, he's welcome to them, but I do wish he'd asked.

AIBU? blush

MmeLindt Wed 02-Sep-09 21:44:12


If he is so poor that he is raking in other peoples bins to collect their recycling, then you surely cannot grudge him them?

Hassled Wed 02-Sep-09 21:45:26

He needs the money more than you do. Eventually, the stuff will be recycled anyway. I can see why you're a bit iffy about the not asking thing, but at least this way someone's benefitting before the recycling happens.

QueenOfFuckingEverything Wed 02-Sep-09 21:45:31


Its one thing having to riffle through bins to earn a living, without having to suffer the embarrassment of asking the bin owner if they mind. Trust me on this.

Ponders Wed 02-Sep-09 21:45:49

OTOH we pay rates to the council, the council organises a recycling pick-up, & presumably they also sell on the stuff with a value to help boost council income.

He is stealing, actually.


generalunrest Wed 02-Sep-09 21:46:24

If he's doing it to a lot of houses he prob can't ask everyone, and like you say, he's presuming that if you've put it out then you don't want it.

You might be feeling a bit weird about it cos of all the shit they go on about with identity fraud and people going through your bins for your details.

I think it's good that if someone can get some cash from it, and he's working for it, good for him! Fk, who doesn't need a bit of extra cash smile

ThingOne Wed 02-Sep-09 21:52:29

Why don't you put a sticker on next week inviting him to help himself?

I would feel a bit odd about it too but I'm not sure with any justification!

MmeLindt Wed 02-Sep-09 21:56:40

We put out any larger items that we don't need on the first Monday of the month.

That could be anything from furniture, to papers to old bikes.

The local council collects things that we would otherwise have to take to the tip.

There are several guys who go around with vans looking to see what folk put out. It is like freecycle without the fuss.

I don't mind. I am quite happy to let someone else take the stuff that I don't want.

claw3 Wed 02-Sep-09 21:57:03

Legally it is stealing, the stuff in the bins belongs to whoever supplied the bins and they profit from it.

Tortington Wed 02-Sep-09 21:58:42

yeah you are

Mamazon Wed 02-Sep-09 21:59:37

ds has been going through our neighbours bins today to get boxes and bits and pieces to make a robot.

there is paper and glue all over the place but he's been happy as larry sticking and painting cereal boxes.

i didn't even think that someone would have an issue with it.

claw3 Wed 02-Sep-09 22:00:41

I once put out an old TV and a guy knocked and asked if he could take it, he also asked me whether it came with a remote and instruction manual!

norktasticninja Wed 02-Sep-09 22:01:29

What QueenOfFuckingEverything said.

TBh if I'd seen this I'd probably start putting the redeemable stuff in a separate bag for him to collect.

ginnny Wed 02-Sep-09 22:02:04

YABU Let him get on with it. He's not hurting anyone!
shock that you get money for plastic bottles??? I might be rummaging around our neighbourhood bins soon!
and envy at MmeLindt's local council collecting for the tip.

norktasticninja Wed 02-Sep-09 22:03:52

They collect for the tip here too, 'tis a continental thing I think.

ZippysMum Wed 02-Sep-09 22:05:36

My DFil collects cans from all over, crushes and recycles them and donates the funds to charity. He's been doing this for years (though he says recently the price of aluminium has gone through the floor and he's getting a lot less for each sackful) and has made hundreds of pounds for the local hospital and hospice.

Don't think he goes through recycle bins (though maybe ... hmm). But if he did, I wouldn't mind wink.

Tambajam Wed 02-Sep-09 22:05:37

In our local area the items that go for recycling do not get separated but thrown in together. They are never separated but are ground up and used for road refill. So if he is selling them on as separate materials he is doing the environment a favour as well as earning a few pennies.

I think if this is the way he is forced to earn a living it is sad to begrudge him that.

generalunrest Wed 02-Sep-09 22:05:50

claw3 'Legally it is stealing'

That's being a bit pedantic isn't it?? Are you suggesting the OP calls the police or something smile The blokes just trying to make a couple of quid, he's not breaking into people's houses and nicking their TV, it's a bit stingy to begrudge him isn't it?

claw3 Wed 02-Sep-09 22:05:57

I should imagine raking through bins, is pretty degrading for the poor guy. Why would you want him to humiliate himself further by knocking and asking to rake through your bin?

claw3 Wed 02-Sep-09 22:09:11

General - Not at all, i was simply answering the question Ponder asked.

Mutt Wed 02-Sep-09 22:09:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ApplesinmyPocket Wed 02-Sep-09 22:09:54

I'm always more than glad when things go to a good home and it sounds like he needs the cash. Heck, I wouldn't want to be so desperate for money I'd rummage about in bins,and it may be embarrassing to him to knock and ask as you'd prefer (something very humiliatingly cap-in-hand about knocking at a door and begging to take empties!) so let him keep his dignity and the stuff and don't give it another thought.

EyeballsintheSky Wed 02-Sep-09 22:12:05

Why does everyone assume he's hard up? He could be doing very nicely thank you and have a little sideline going.

EyeballsintheSky Wed 02-Sep-09 22:13:28

Meant to add that the op said it's the recycling bin, so he's hardly mooching through a week's worth of sardine heads.

generalunrest Wed 02-Sep-09 22:14:16

Ahhh, I see what you mean, and your post just after mine <puts indignity back in it's box> grin

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