Dear Neighborhood Trashmonger,

I try to turn the other cheek and look at something beautiful when I see your overstuffed shopping cart full of recyclable bottles and cans taking up more street space than a small car. I like the concept of re-purposing materials that shouldn’t go to the landfill, but I sure don’t like you pawing through the garbage cans hidden in my private driveway, especially since you tend to tear open the garbage bags and leave a disgusting mess for someone else to clean up. I try not to grumble when I hear you yelling about the major find because one of my neighbors move out and I’m on a business conference call.

I want to think that you’re doing the best you can to survive on the streets of West Hollywood, but when I see you week after week, I am disgusted. You’ve become an eyesore and a nuisance and I don’t think you’re helping the environment.

Neighborhood trash-monger, you bring more crap into my life than you take out of it. Will you please just go away?



16 thoughts on “Dear Neighborhood Trashmonger,”

  1. I’m sorry, but I cannot read your message. I do not have access to the internet. How you got this message is beyond me.

  2. Every store that sells deposit bottles should be required by law to pay out the deposits and take the bottles back themselves. That way, bottle collectors can cash them in on every other block, instead of wheeling carts all over creation to a recycling company. This is the law in New York State. It should be the law in California as well.

  3. Not as offensive as rotting trash strewn all over your driveway and the following fly explosion. Maybe you would like to come over and clean it up on a daily basis Tanya?

  4. I had a similar experience when I lived in downtown San Jose. This guy would dig in our dumpster daily for whatever. But, unlike Mr. Monger, he would not trash the place. He would quietly root around in my trash until he found some dumpster gold and would then go on his way down the alley to another mining spot.

  5. I agree with Tanya, as I found your post harsh myself. You don’t know when, how or why this person ended up in their perdicament. It’s a sorry situation to have to resort to digging through other people’s trash to survive. If you were in her situation perhaps you would see things differently. But you’re not, so you use this forum to hurl a diatribe at someone below your social strata that probably lacks the means to even read your post. How big of you. Perhaps you should change your alias to “heathervindictive”.

  6. A suggestion: Separate out the redeemable bottles/cans and leave those separately with a note. This allows trashcollector guy to get the stuff he’s looking for and you to keep your trash unscattered. Yes, it’s a bit more work for you up front, but it helps contribute to both yours and his dignity.

  7. Feel your pain, but the people who do this in my neighborhood are, without exception, open to conversation and suggestion.

  8. uh…have you tried talking to them? Asking them to feel free to take the plastic, but please dont leave a mess? This is what us humans do you know? We like, talk to one another. Give it a try some time.

  9. I’d love to know if the give-peace-and-garbage-guys-a-chance commenters would feel as forgiving (and yes, that should always be the goal, but) if these trash rooters got ahold of credit card offers with those blank checks in them, social security numbers, medical records, or other sensitive, personal information that many people forget to shred (and frankly, shouldn’t have to worry about, but must anyway) gets into the hands of someone hoping to score more than a nickel on your old Dr. Pepper cans.

    Like I said above, I credit Heather with expressing an honest opinion here – one I’m sure she expected would bring this kind of better-personing commenting we see here. I don’t blame anyone – especially a woman (is NOW going to come revoke my membership card for saying that?) for a reluctance to engage in a conversation that could easily go the wrong way.

    I’m not saying free-lance recyclers are all violent or all criminals. But you don’t know if they’re homeless – or nearly homeless – due to mental illness (the government hasn’t been helping these people since Reagan closed all those hospitals when he was governor) or drug addiction, or any number of factors that could lead to really unpleasant consequences.

    So vent on Heather. I hear you.

  10. Let me add some more info. Yes, we do have recycle bins in WeHo and yes we do separate out the plastic/glass and paper recycle into two bins. Do you think trashmonger goes through the blue bins? NO. Trashmonger goes straight to the brown dumpster and rips open every single tied and closed trash bag. (There is another recyclemonger that is quiet and only checks the blue bin. Now I don’t really like that either, but he’s not the one’s I’m ranting about here.)

    When I lived in Berkeley, this happened to the apartment house I lived in. One morning, I saw the same Berkeley trashmongers attempt to steal the neighbor kids new rollerblades (which they had left outside their front door). I stopped Berkeley trashmonger and told him to put them back and then gave him an earful about how stealing is wrong.

    Bottom line is this. Stay off my property (even if I’m renting). Don’t go where you are not supposed to go – implicit or explicit.

    I don’t care about taking stuff left out on the street. But I do have a major problem if you start coming in my backyard (which is basically what is happening here).

  11. Gotta love the manufactured outrage here. I’m sure that if you exchanged the words “trashmonger” to “gang member”, the false indignation would disappear. Seriously, it’s not like she’s being irrational, nor is the litterer free of guilt.

    Those of you whining about being offended would probably be madder than hell if someone dumped trash-bags full of refuse all around your property on a regular basis, so get off of your high horses and slow down the flow on those bleeding hearts of yours. I seriously can’t comprehend how being broke and homeless justifies dumping garbage all over the place. If they’re crazy (like CD said), I’d give them a little more slack.

    To modify an oft-used bumper sticker quote: “If this shit is what you’re getting outraged over, you need to pay more attention.”

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