The title of this post probably makes me sound paranoid, but there really are people picking through my garbage every Monday night. Honest.
I can’t stand it! It’s worse on recycling days which is every two weeks. I’ll be outside with the dog and I’ll see people going through one recycling bin after another looking for bottles and cans and whatever else they might be looking for in order to make some money.
I wrote about people picking through actual garbage back in April because I suspected those people were looking for credit card receipts or bank slips. I thought they might be identity thieves. The ones I’m seeing lately are mainly going through the recycling though.
Now when I wrote my first post about garbage pickers several people commented that they also had that happen regularly in their area. It’s on the increase here in Toronto.
Plus it’s against the law. once the garbage is on the curb it’s supposed to be the property of the city and our city is supposedly cracking down on these garbage pickers. The money that the city gets from the recycled material helps to cut down some of our costs and I presume our taxes (although property taxes have been going up every year!). I saw a news story on this a few weeks ago and it said that the city would be handing out hefty fines to anyone they caught picking through garbage.
You might be thinking – it’s garbage, you’re throwing it away so who cares what happens to it. While that might be true, I just don’t like the idea of someone picking through my garbage in front of my home. We never throw out credit card slips or paperwork that has account numbers on it. We shred that stuff and burn it in our Chimenea in the backyard. So we are probably fairly safe from anyone stealing our identity – at least out of our garbage, but anyone looking at what we’ve thrown out could still tell if we’d made major purchases etc … so it would give would be thieves an idea of what’s in our house.
Once it’s left my driveway I don’t care anymore as the contents are unlikely to be associated with my house, but while it’s sitting out front it’s just too easy to learn a lot about the people inside.
Plus … it’s just creepy! My neighbor, Alli , from across the street doesn’t like garbage pickers either.
On Monday evening Chris and I were both standing outside with our dog trying to get her to do her business when we saw a lady going through one of our neighbors recycling bins across the street. We decided to stay outside for a bit to see what she would do and while we were talking with another neighbor, still in front of our driveway, right in front of our recycling bins and garbage – the lady crossed the street and headed for our bins. Before she made it to our garbage she changed her mind and walked up the street around our planted boulevard and then turned and approached from the sidewalk. Then she changed her mind again and walked on the street towards our recycling.
I don’t know if she wasn’t sure if we were the owners of the house, perhaps she just thought we were a couple out walking our dog (in bare feet (Chris) and puffy slippers (me), right!). When she finally got close to our garbage, looking very much like a predator I turned to her and said “that’s illegal you know”. She just looked at me, said sorry and walked passed us and all of our other neighbors garbage and turned onto a side street when she reached the corner.
Is it strange that I think it’s creepy and that I feel a little violated when I see someone picking through my garbage?