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Is it legal to take cans from recycling bins of peoples houses?
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Is it legal to take cans from recycling bins of peoples houses?

nope but why would you do that?


Εἰρήνη σοι
It's kind of shady.

If it is not yours then it is theft. A real no brainer....

No, when it is at the curb it is fair game.

never thought about that!!!! i know that once trash is placed to the curb it becomes public property. hmmmmmmmmmm

If the bins are on their property, it would be stealing cans.

Iced G
I'm sure it's illegal. Plus, it'll make you look bad, you'll look like a homeless hobo looking for cans to sell.

Technically once it's on the curb it's public property, no guarantees for your safety though.

I can't say for sure,, but the law enforcement say that when a garbage can is on the street they can look thru it for clues when investigating someone so I would say the cans are fair game too

No it is not legal to take someone elses property not even trash.

With theft of personal information such a problem I don't want anyone in my trash.

No. It's considered stealing. Yeah I know but stealing even trash is a misdemeanor. Yet I'm not sure if the cops would even stop you. They'll just think you are homeless. Perhaps you should ask the residents. I bet they would say go ahead.

There is a very simple dividing line used in every city and state that I know of: If it is on your property, your trash still belongs to you; if you put it outside the limits of your property, then you automatically relinquish any rights of possession. Most importantly for this discussion, the street in front of your house is not your property. Anything you leave in the street is fair game unless it is protected by a separate law (i.e. cars).

Kathryn P
If they put the cans in a bin to donate without any profit then no. Once someone throws something out it becomes fair game for anyone to pick up... because it has been discarded.

However if they have a deal with a recycle center that the cans are picked up and a check gets sent to them once a month to pay them for what they've given back, then yes, it would be stealing, because it is not in the trash, but just set out for a purpose.

It's kind of tough to know, though, unless the recycle bin has a company name on it that you can check with.

KaKasHi12 <----- STARCRAFT
The blue trash cans that say recycle with all the paper, plastic, cans, etc.? Then it is legal to take cans from those. If its a recycling bin as in a bin people use to put cans in to take to the recycling center for cash, then it could be known as stealing.

If someone has those bins w/ cans, try to ask them if they still want them.

Trash and recycling waste are often governed by different ordinances. In many towns, it is in fact illegal to take items out of somebody's recycle bin. It's legal to take things out of people's trash, though, as long as it's out on a public curb (except in New Hampshire, but they don't really enforce it unless you're stealing private documents or creating a mess or nuisance).

Uther Aurelianus
Once it is in the recycling bin on the curb, it is the property of the company that picks up the bin. Therfore, taking the cans is theft.

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