WWYD - Neighborhood Litterer

kadefol

For over a year, someone has been throwing litter in the street in front of our property, sometimes in our front yard. Beer cans, fast food bags, soda cups, empty cigarette packs, etc. This a.m. we were drinking coffee outside quite early (in an area of our backyard that overlooks the street but is kind of hidden) and observed a man in a pickup truck driving down from up the street and slowing down and dumping beer cans right in the street. So we witnessed him doing this and we now know what kind of truck he drives, though he drove away too fast to get a license plate number.

Husband wants to find out where this creep lives, collect all the trash until there is a good amount, and then dump it on his property in the middle of the night. I lean more toward finding out where he lives and filing a litter complaint because dumping stuff back and forth could escalate. What would the KT'ers do?

SaveComment48Like
Comments (48)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jtc

Could you put up one of those cameras often mentioned here?

2 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maddielee

If you see him Littering again, stand up and yell at him.


If you can find out where he lives (so you can return his litter) you can also find out his name. I would let him know in a phone call or note that his littering will not be tolerated. If it continues, contact the authorities.

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sephia_wa

Pick up the litter he tosses on the ground in front of your property and put it back in the bed of his truck. You can do that without him seeing you, if you want to be anonymous.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bookwoman

Do not engage with him. You don't know what kind of a nut job he might be. Get his license plate number and contact your local municipality.

26 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8

I would definitely not recommend dumping the trash back on his
property. What I would do is file a complaint and describe the truck
and driver, possibly later you could get a license number or address to
add to the file. Explain an ongoing issue and not a one time offense.

DH is a litter picker-upper ;0) Our real estate agent bought the house
above us and sometimes joins him. They have the mechanical reaches,
gloves, picking up nothing with a bare hand.The street below our
house is wooded and continues on to above with the same tall trees. It
looks obscured, and is a little dark even with a street light at the top
and bottom. Which is still not a reason to toss fast food lunch
packaging, bottles, cans from car windows but more than one person seems
to feel comfortable doing that.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annegriet

I vote for a camera with a photo. Let the person know that you know. If it doesn't change, I would see if local government can issue citation for littering.

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yeonassky

I would do what book woman says but I would take it one step further and tell all my neighbours and get everybody to film him discreetly. Aside from being afraid in case he's a nut job with a gun I think if you confront him he will just take it to another neighbourhood.

2 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

It would be difficult to disguise a camera. All we have out there is a
mailbox, no shrubbery. Might be worth planting a shrub for that purpose
though. :)

He didn't realize we saw him this morning as we were in a part of the backyard that overlooks the street but we are kind of hidden. By the time husband made it to the street, the litterer creep was long gone.

It is just so infuriating that someone feels entitled to throw their trash in the street and on other people's properties, we want him to have to face the consequences. I think we'll see if we can find where he lives, get the license plate number of the truck, and file a complaint.

5 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yeonassky

A camera can be placed in or beside a mailbox and generally disguised easily. I've seen this done myself. If everyone in the neighbourhood got a picture of him and were a witness as a result that would have great traction. Barring that a camera that can take pictures from quite a distance might work as well.

Too bad it even has to be done. It's trying to have to protect yourself and your property and your neighbourhood from someone who is so socially dense and thoughtless. A fact but trying. I'd be furious enough to find a way to stop the person as well. Good luck!

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maddielee

having a camera that can be seen, or having something that looks like a camera, stops a lot of malicious activity.

4 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
phoggie

Take pictures of the litter thrown on your property before you pick it up and use a reacher or gloves.

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

You could try putting up a 'Please don't litter' sign.

People can be such slugs. Years ago I noticed a woman who lives on our road would slow down as she approached our mailbox. One day I saw her toss something small out the open window of her car. I went to see what it was and noticed a bunch of cigarettes littering the ground around my mailbox. She evidently lit up everyday when she left for work, and finished it about the time she passed my house. At the time, she had a grudge against one of our best friends, so I guess she was trying to send him (or us) a message. I ignored her and eventually she stopped.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
adellabedella_usa

Get a license plate number and truck id and call the local law enforcement. My dad had some idiot dump trash on some rural property. The idiot had mail with addresses in there. A call to the local sheriff got the problem handled.

2 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

Contact the police with a description to give them a heads up and if you can get a camera or catch the license plate, it will help them. Littering is a fineable offense.

Do not try to solve this on your own...you can end up in a world of trouble dealing with someone who is clearly irresponsible....and littering in return will only put you in the same bind.

4 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aok27502

A doorbell camera might work if properly aimed. It should be able to pick up the license plate.

Is it always on your property, or does he spread the wealth?

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sephia_wa

I'll be curious to how your law enforcement responds to a littering complaint. Where I live, the police have more important things to deal with than littering. It's not high on their list of things that they enforce. Illegal dumping, yes, but casual littering, they might get around to looking into it.

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eld6161

Cameras can be put up in a window and it can view the whole front of your property.

DH has them in most of our rentals. Police have even contacted him for evidence in accidents, or in one case similar to yours, we caught the person randomly dumping her bag of garbage on the side of our building.

I wonder if he lives in the neighborhood? If it’s a specific time I would wait and yell at him so he knows that you know.

This might be all you need to stop it.

Another similar story: DH has an upstate building that he has to pay for garbage pick up. There is a dumpster for the building. The dumpster was filling quicker than usual. Turns out a woman around the corner was bringing her garbage and she left evidence with her address of discarded mail.

DH contacted the police. They took the bag to her door but before showing her the garbage they asked if she was throwing things away in the dumpster by DH’s building. She said that she picks up litter as a concerned citizen! Police then handed her the big white garbage bag.

What makes this weirder is that she is a local journalist and so she is known.

And, certainly she should know better.

Now, the dumpster is locked.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

aok, our house is set far back from the street so a doorbell camera wouldn't work. We'd have to find a way to attach it to the mailbox or maybe plant a shrub by the driveway to hide it in.

The littering seems to be mostly in front of/on our property, yet we don't know this man and have not had any run-ins with him, so I don't understand it.

Sephia, there is a "Don't mess with Texas" website to report litterers. They send the person a trash bag and a letter warning them to keep their trash off the road. Alternatively, if we do manage to take a pic of the creep in action we may have better luck getting local law enforcement to pay him a visit. I don't really like any of the options but we are really sick of this creep's behavior.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

eld, our house is set far back from the street and we have a walled entry way so a doorbell camera would not
capture anything on the street. The street also curves in front of our
property and only our garage door faces the part of the street where
this person litters. The garage door windows aren't suitable to attach a
camera. The mailbox will have to be it if we decide to do this.

We are pretty sure this man lives in the neighborhood since the
littering has been going on for well over a year. We are close to the
front entrance of the neighborhood and only people who live here or
visit usually drive into the neighborhood because the upper parts of the
road just curve around and come back out at the top of our street.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dedtired

Don't start a litter war. This guy could be a nut and you don't want to engage with him. Fill out the litter complaint with license number and a picture if possible .

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lindsey_CA

"The littering seems to be mostly in front of/on our property..."

Then do NOT collect his trash and dump it back into his truck or onto his property. He knows where he is dumping the trash, so if the trash reappears at/on his property, he will know where it came from. If he is the type of person to deliberately dump his trash on someone else's property, he is quite possibly the type of person to take revenge.

"only our garage door faces the part of the street where this person litters"

Can you mount a camera to the top of the garage? Does one of your neighbors have a good spot to mount a camera that will face the area where the guy dumps his trash?

Talk to your neighbors - tell them what's going on. Maybe a neighbor is an early riser and would be willing to try to get photos.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maifleur03

If you can not get a picture of the litter coming out of a vehicle with the license plate included in the picture and not just in another picture you are wasting your time turning that information into the police. Just a picture of the truck with the litter beside it does not prove that the driver did anything. Your state laws may be different but there is a side street that people toss all kinds of things and that was what I was told when I called and asked about the problem. The area has improved since the park department mentioned that in the worst areas they were using cameras. Now it is normally only the yard and brush waste that people toss.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

Yes, my point exactly, returning trash to someone like that could be dangerous. If we do turn him in he will know who did, that's for sure. On the one hand, I don't want to provoke a possible nutcase. On the other hand, I don't want him to get away with continuing to do this. Maybe we'll have to hire someone to threaten to break his kneecaps, that might do it. :)

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pudgeder

Bound to be a neighbor.

I'd bet he's getting rid of the beer cans before he gets home so whoever he lives with won't find them. At any rate, it's rude & selfish. I hope he gets a series of flat tires.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
desertsteph

could you put a potted plant out there to use to hide the camera? and later plant it somewhere else?

do any neighbors have a better view of that particular area?

or put up a sign that says that area is now being monitored by cameras...


Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lucille


The littering seems to be mostly in front of/on our property, yet we don't know this man and have not had any run-ins with him, so I don't understand it.

It seems like he is targeting your home, not just dumping trash. How long have you lived in this home? Is it possible that an ex or someone he dislikes used to live there, and he is unaware that you now own the home?

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333 (zone 7a)

Good luck!


What would I do? I live in a proactive neighborhood, and we have a Facebook page. I'd post the issue and ask if anyone had Ring footage. Then, when others did, I'd go to the police with the information.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joyfulguy

Do you know when he does it, dark or daylight and is the timing consistent?

If it's usually in daylight, would you be worried about sitting in your car near the end of the driveway at about that time, stepping out and taking a series of pictures, including of the licence plate, or a video during his next escapade?

Maybe with a spouse or neighbour as backup, with second camera on hand in case he dismounts and confronts?

Two or three neighbours willing to become visible in case of confrontation might be helpful, if they're willing to be recruited.

ole joyful


2 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maifleur03

Lucille has a good point although it might be years for the information that the people who now live in the house are not the same or it could be that it is a house that is supposed to be another. I have mentioned a man entering our house. The reason entered the house was because there used to be a drug house on that street that was the same color. Our mailbox kept being smashed because the people we purchased it from were from Iran. Once I started being in the front yard more frequently most of the bashing stopped. Now if it is smashed everyone on this street is also hit.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sephia_wa

kadefol, Washington state a has similar reporting process. On the WA State Dept of Ecology website - "Littering is punishable by fines ranging from $50 to $5,000 in Washington."

All I'm saying is that it may be difficult to get the police to respond to a littering complaint. Like I'd said before, littering complaints are low on the list of things the police respond to. Even with video. Maybe it's different in your community.


Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
graywings123

It doesn't matter whether the camera is visible or not. In fact, a visible camera can deter bad behavior.

3 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ci_lantro

Wild guess but sounds like an alcoholic shift worker stoking his ism after he gets off work and chucking the extent of his addiction before he gets home to either the wife & kids or his momma. See if you can establish a pattern, then contact the local police & ask for a stepped up patrol of your neighborhood during those hours of the day (if you detect a pattern.) Cops are going to be more concerned about drunk drivers than litterbugs.

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joyfulguy

Is a person who chases a litterbug ... a litterbug bugger?

o j

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lisa_fla

See whether there is a Next-door.com for you neighborhood.. I bet there is! Make a post-'To The Man in the Red Chevy Pick Up-Stop throwing Beer Cans in the Morning'. In the post you can detail you are fed up and installed a camera. Chances are people will know who it is and may have similar complaints, or the wife who suspects he's drinking and driving will see it. a big Smile You're on Camera sign might help deter as well. Or a homemade huge sign-Red Chevy Quit Throwing Beer Cans Here!

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

^^ There isn't one for our specific neighborhood, just a Next Door for the general area and our small city. We used to have a neighborhood facebook page but there wasn't a lot of interest and it just fizzled.

We've lived here 19 years, so likely not a case of someone targeting people who used to live here. But it occurred to me - and I hate to think along those lines, but you never know given the current political climate - that the targeted littering could be because my husband is hispanic.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Yayagal

Put up a sign, you are being filmed.

3 Likes Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
breenthumb

Wild guess but sounds like an alcoholic shift worker stoking his ism
after he gets off work and chucking the extent of his addiction before
he gets home to either the wife & kids or his momma.

This makes so much sense. You said you were having your morning coffee outside when you saw him. Night watchman, maybe. Nobody else around, little to do but snack and obviously drink. Can't leave it at work and can't take it home. Drop it at kadefols house.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

The creep was leaving the neighborhood when we saw him dump the beer can, so he is probably not a night watchman/shift worker who is trying to hide beer and fast food consumption. I still don’t understand the dumping in front of our house though, it seems deliberate and I really resent it.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
OutsidePlaying

If it has been going on for a year, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Ideally you should get the description and tag number and report the creep doing this to the police. Social media can be very powerful too, so using Next door or Facebook can be effective if you have a photo or more information. Your neighbors can and should be your allies. I sincerely hope it’s not someone targeting you.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
adellabedella_usa

I'd be tempted to cruise the neighborhood and look for the truck.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

I'd figure out where he lives, write him an anonymous note telling him that he was observed tossing litter out of his truck and is now being filmed. If he continues to do it, he will be turned over to the authorities. Word it so that it could sound like someone was driving and saw him or in a way that it's not specific to your property. Maybe, "several" neighbors have installed cameras for security and discovered you tossing garbage out of your truck."

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

adella, that's the plan but we haven't had a chance yet this weekend. The majority park in their driveways so it should be fairly easy to find the truck.

OutsidePlaying, it's been well over a year and seeing this creep slow way down and deliberately throw the beer cans out of the window was the last straw.

Oly, we are still pondering how to handle this. On the one hand we don't want to provoke a potential nut and perhaps escalate matters, on the other hand, he needs to stop.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chisue

Post a "Private Property" and a "No Dumping" sign.

When we had neighborhood kids courting danger by playing in the creek beside our house, the police said we should post a "No Trespassing" sign. Legally, we own 'to the middle of the creek', and we could be sued if a child was injured.

1 Like Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jemdandy

You really do not want to be identified by this person (unless you are meaner that him). If he discovers who fingered him, he's the type that will wage a vendetta against you and your property. However, he enjoys his anonymity enabling him to toss messes without any repercussion to him. His greatest concern: Being identified or caught in the act. However, he doesn't mind if you see him and can not do anything about it. That may give him pleasure to bedevil you.

Install a camouflaged trail camera. Use one with enough pixels to identify a license plate, but do not be surprised if you find he has masked his license plate - illegal. When you collect enough evidence, turn over a copy to the police and let them do the first encounter with this guy.

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

Yes, we'll have to resort to a mailbox camera. We took a drive around
the neighborhood last night and there are too many grey pickup trucks to
ID the litterer. Frustrating, I never noticed before that there are so
many.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pudgeder

Kade, please let us know how things go!

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

I doubt anyone as thoughtless and a litter law breaker is going to pay one bit of attention to any signs you post. Even if you do ID him, it sounds like you are unwilling to do anything to try to have the law enforced because of fear of reprisals. I don't blame you, but not sure what your plans are if you are unwilling to finger him?

Save     Thanked by kadefol
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

Once we‘ve ID’d him we’ll submit the required info to the anti litter agency and let them send him a letter. If he continues to litter after that we’ll progress to a camera and hopefully visual proof of him littering which we’ll submit to our local PD along with a complaint. Hopefully one of the above will work.

2 Likes Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Community Want a Cleaner, Safer Neighborhood? Show You Care
Our behavior strongly influences others, says a new study. Show neighbors you care about your street and watch them follow suit
Full Story
Life 12 Ways to Nurture a Happy Neighborhood
Having good relationships with neighbors improves the quality of life for all
Full Story
Pets The Hardworking Laundry Room: A Spot for the Litter Box
These clever solutions help keep the cat’s restroom out of the way
Full Story