Trash day rolls around and you might need a quick stop at a dumpster. But can you put something in it if it's not yours?

If you live in a metro area, your dumpster probably isn't your own. It's likely the city's and is therefore open to anyone who puts whatever into it. The one by my apartment always smells most interesting. But if you own a business or have your own trash bin at home, you expect to use it for your stuff. It's on you to drag it to the road on trash day.


All of us don't always have pleasant neighbors. If you don't live in a city and aren't expected to share a dumpster or trash bin, you may have neighbors that try to put their stuff in your bin. It could get annoying if it's really big or particularly smelly stuff and they do it often enough to get under your skin.

Likewise, maybe you're someone who is in the habit of putting whatever garbage into some random neighbor's trash bin because why not.

Is It Illegal To Put Your Trash In Someone Else's Dumpster?

In Illinois, yes if you don't have the owner's permission.

It's especially a big problem if the stuff you need to dump is big and won't fit in the trash bin or makes it overflow. That can be considered illegal dumpingIllinois law says:

It is unlawful for a person to dump, deposit, or place garbage, rubbish, trash, or refuse upon real property not owned by that person without the consent of the owner or person in possession of the real property.


In Chicago, you can get smacked with a fine if you put your garbage in someone else's dumpster. We're talking anywhere from $200-$500.

Think about it: if your neighbor's trash can or dumpster is already full and it's your collection of crap that sends it overboard, the illegal dumping issue comes into play, you could end up involved, it could be a mess.

So basically, just don't mess with trying to put your trash in your neighbor's dumpster if the neighbor isn't down for it.

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