Thursday Rant: My neighbors are the most wasteful people ever

There are in perfect working order

Rudolph about to make his final flight to the landfill

My family and I love to take walks in the evening. The run up to the holidays was an awesome time to be a walker. The kids loved looking at the neighbors’ extravagant decorations.

A couple days after Christmas, I took a walk on garbage day that greatly disturbed me. I noticed that many of the decorations had just been tossed. The animatronic reindeer in this picture are in perfect working order. Apparently the former owners think its easier to just throw out and buy new every year. I also noticed Christmas lights in the garbage. Instead of taking the time to take them carefully down, these folks cut them up and threw them out. They probably saved about 10 minutes of time.

Although Christmas was disturbing, throwing out perfectly good items is something I have noticed before.

At this time, I have a confession. I’m a dumpster diver or trash picker or whatever you want to call it. You should see some of the stuff I get though:

Wheelbarrow rescued from the trashDorabike, rescued moments before impending doom (garbage truck)Perfect. Working. Order. In the trash.

The wheelbarrow had a flat tire. A trip to Home Depot and $30 and I had a new front tire and a perfectly good tool. I noticed that a new one was almost $80.

The only thing wrong with the Dora bike was that the chain had fallen off. Are people so lazy that they cannot even tackle this?

Finally, the Trek mountain bike was in perfect working order when I rescued it. How sad. Really people? Come on.

I was talking about this with my wife and she had the most ridiculous story of all. She mentioned that in her neighborhood growing up, if a washer or dryer broke, the people would put both out on the curb for the trash. Why? Because they wanted a matching pair.

We all have stuff that we no longer need. Fine, I get that. However, there are other people who could use this stuff. Stick it on Craigslist. Freecycle it. Take it down to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and get a tax deduction. If you’re old school, tape a “free sign” to it and stick it at the curb.

Just don’t stick it in the landfill.




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15 Responses to Thursday Rant: My neighbors are the most wasteful people ever

  1. d says:

    My dad owns a very small business (3 employees) and bought a condo/townhouse in one of those condo/townhouse complexes for their office. He was offered a discount if he took the one that looks out on the dumpster. It was a win-win. He didn’t have to pay as much, and he basically gets first dibs on all the great stuff his silly neighbors throw away.

  2. Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle says:

    I live in a neighbourhood of driveway washers. After you cut your lawn it is customary to hose the driveway down until every blade of grass is succesfully washed on to the road and in to the storm sewer. I do not like grassed tracked in to my house on shoes but I find a push broom just as effective to push the grass on to the lawn.

    My city does not care for driveway washers and they are now charging us all for every drop of water we use and waste. I am hoping to see a few more push brooms in the neighbourhood this summer.

    • 1500 says:

      Sad, isn’t it? The water waste is really crazy. I see people doing this by me too and I live in Colorado where water resources are scarce. It probably saves them a minute of two over the good old broom.

  3. Icy Point says:

    Insane. I have seen the same thing many times when college ends for the summer. Kids trash out entire apartments and then buy everything again 3 months later. Unfortunately, some things are so cheap these days they probably saved money compared to storing it for 3 months.

    • 1500 says:

      Yeah! We used to live in a college town. When moving out day happened, we’d take the truck and scour the garbage piles. There was even a term for it: Hippie Christmas.

      So wasteful, it drove us nuts

  4. Sherid says:

    You call that wasteful? Come to Old Tappan, NJ – Specifically Ogle Road. As it exists today not decades ago.

    Towards the top sits a new McMansion from hell looking like a mini-Vatican. It could house a dozen families but instead just one fat little family. Who needs a dozen bathrooms? Who needs 10-foot high ceilings with chandeliers hanging everywhere?
    How about outdoor lamps on their mansion that are turned on 24 hours, 7 days a week? Not one or two either but a dozen or so, including the 4 which illuminate their 4 garages.

    They are the biggest waste in this town and their mansion is larger than any others being the newest addition in town. Their neighbors residing in nearly-massive modern and recent McMansions do battle with keeping up appearances and also yield to lots of lighting. One gets a huge swimming pool in the back, the other has to have one of equal size. One gets a tennis court addition, the other has to have one. These people have massive donut shaped driveways in front, made of hand-cut and set stones (sort of like horizontal stone walls). They are used in lieu of parking their half dozen vehicles in garages (you can’t show off luxury SUVs, BMWs, Lexuses, Merceds and the like if they’re hidden behind doors, now can you?) like a display case where the vehicles are rotated routinely. The remaining vacant portions of their property are now filled with genetically-engineered sod, rolled and grafted to the earth after butching a dozen odd natural trees. The exquisite lawn is taken care of every week or so by landscape services–the same which take care of their neighbors’ lawns. These trucks take up room on the streets. The rest is taken up by their luxury cars–ah, but they’re parked in the “display case” driveways, right? Some are. But to get maximum attention they like to park one or two on the main road. Then there’s the weekly or so delibery of spring water bottles to their McMansions, and routine pool maintenance crews, and ADT security trucks to maintain their security suites. Trucks and noise coming and going all the time. If not Queen Shit’s palace then one of the adjacent ones. Why don’t they just pitch a tent for all these Servants to live in? Not one of these mansion owners are capable of Caring for their estates themselves–can’t even pick up a foot-long branch from their yards–Call The Green Keepers! Spider in the garage–Call the Exterminators! Many neighbors leave their built-in sprinkler systems constantly even when there’s a massive rainshower and flooding! But that’s okay since they only use tap water for watering since they’re convinced it’s Poisonous and Only drink the finest bottled spring water! Can just imagine the amount of money blown on having people come over routinely to cut the lawn, much less prune the exquisite shrubs, lay down fertilizers, etc.? On and on one mansion to the other.

    Living here in the past used to be quiet. Nights used to be Dark. Today it’s like a frigging remake of Disney World attractions!

    All these owners are virtually screaming “Look at Me and how much Money I have and can Waste on a daily basis!”

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  6. Nice trash! You weren’t kidding about those bikes–they’re in perfect condition! We nearly absconded with a trashed wheelbarrow ourselves last week, but it was rusted through beyond repair.
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: That Time We Were Mistaken for Through-HikersMy Profile

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  8. Shazam says:

    I live in Denver. The guy down street drives around Stapleton and Lowry during trash day. His pick up is always PACKED with stuff when he returns.

    • 1500 says:

      Sad. THe place we lived was Parker and the people there were continually horrible as well. We’d pick it up and donate it to charities. Tax write off baby.

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  10. Absolutely! If something can be reused, it should.

  11. Great Post. People should not waste anything if it can re-used. Donations would be a better way than just wasting everything. Thanks for Sharing!

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