Trash Crew Helpfully Hauls Away Brand-New Dryer

It’s rather nice to live in a city or town where municipal trash pickup will haul away your old, unwanted appliances. When they haul your brand-new appliances away, though, you’ve got a problem. That’s what happened to a West Virginia couple, whose dryer disappeared from in front of their house before they had a chance to install it—at the same time the city hauled away their old washing machine.

According to an affidavit sworn by Donnyell Harrison, “The washer to be hauled away was right beside the trash bin and the dryer that was taken was new and about 70 (feet) away, sitting on a concrete pad.”

The new washing machine had been delivered and installed several days prior, Donyell said.

The dryer cost about $400, according to the affidavit.

Well, they were thorough, I guess you can give them that. The city is considering reimbursing the couple for the cost of the dryer.

Trash crew picks up couple’s brand new dryer [Charleston Daily Mail] (Thanks, Charles!)

(Photo: samwilkinson)


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  1. Toffeecake says:

    Sounds a little like theft to me. I know our trash guys won’t even take our normal trash if the bin isn’t to the immediate right of the mailbox, with the back facing the street. I’m sure these guys have protocol for where things have to be put for it to be considered “trash”, and if it was 70 feet away from the bin, it’s definitely not for them to take.

    • Scuba Steve says:

      @Toffeecake: Well, I wouldn’t consider it theft. They are authorized to take trash from the residence, and I think they thought it was trash.

      The best approach to this would be to get the city to correct its mistake (or company, if it was a private entity), and communicate with the shippers of the NEXT dryer/appliance/item that wherever they left it last time was not a good place to leave it.

      • lordargent says:

        @Scuba Steve: and communicate with the shippers

        In the linked article, it sounds like it was the owner that took the new dryer off the truck, not s shipper.

        Matthew said he had just unloaded the new dryer from the truck and then went looking for someone to help him carry the machine into the basement. When he came back, both the new dryer and the old washer were nowhere to be found.

        Also, I think Toffeecake meant that someone else could have stolen it. Since the article doesn’t say that the guy actually saw the trash guys haul the new dryer away. He just unloaded the new dryer, left it there, then came back and found it gone, then assumed that the trash guys had gone out of their way to take it as well.

        /the trash guys won’t even haul appliances away here. You have to take it to a dump yourself or get someone to haul it away. Personally, I always just have the company haul away the old one for $30-$50 when they deliver the new one. (But that was a big heavy $1300 fridge, not a $400 dryer).

        • Scuba Steve says:

          @lordargent: That’s a good point. While the trash people might have not have taken it, someone else could have.

          Might be good to get a police report then, I guess. Its really up to the police to determine whether they want to persue it further.

    • Andyf says:

      @Toffeecake: I suspect that appliance pickup might be a bit different. In my town, you have to call and schedule an appliance/large item pickup, if you just drag it out to the curb, out at the curb it’ll stay; a separate crew picks up the large items on a scheduled basis only. In that case, they are somewhat more flexible on where they’ll pick up from, as the crew of burly guys picking up used appliances sometimes realize that the homeowners are often a bit less capable of moving the appliances around. My guess is they showed up to pick up the washer, thought they were picking up a dryer as well, and saw a dryer that (they thought) the homeowner was working on dragging to the curb, but had taken a break from. I’m sure they thought they were doing the owner a favor.

      of course, that begs the question, how quickly did they feed these things into the crusher that it couldn’t be recovered?

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      @Toffeecake: most cities/counties have a policy on where the “trash” should be. Generally it would be based on a certain distance from the curb or an exact location in relation to mailbox/driveway like you have.

      I really doubt that the distance is much more than 10′

    • greeneyedguru says:


      The article doesn’t make it clear that anyone witnessed the trash crew taking the dryer, if there were no witnesses there’s really no basis to claim that the trash crew took it imo. It’s nice that the city is considering reimbursing them but they’re in no way obligated to.

    • duncanblackthorne says:

      @Toffeecake: Seriously, how could they not notice it was brand new? And 70 feet away from where the obviously old one was?

  2. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Here in Madison, WI, we need to purchase and attach a pick-up sticker for selected appliances in order for them to be scrapped. I couldn’t easily find any requirements similar to that online for Charleston, WV, but I’m thinking that if there were this requirement, then not having the sticker would be pretty telling that it shouldn’t be hauled away.

    Pay up, Charleston, WV.

  3. Wireless Joe says:

    The dryer should be replaced, and a search warrant should be (actually, should have been) issued against the residences of the trash guys that worked the route that day for “new dryers” matching the make and model of the one that went missing.

  4. HalOfBorg says:

    I call shenanigens.

    I live in West Virginia, and as it happens our washer and dryer are on concrete pads – raises them about 1 foot, keep mild flood/storm drain backup out of them.


    They are NOT outside where the garbage men can take them! Who installs a dryer outside?

    And if I need something non-hazardous but large picked up, just put it out with usual things. No special tag required.

    Hazardous they set up collection point every few years.

    • witeowl says:

      @HalOfBorg: Try reading the linked article. It wasn’t installed outside.

      Matthew said he had just unloaded the new dryer from the truck and then went looking for someone to help him carry the machine into the basement. When he came back, both the new dryer and the old washer were nowhere to be found.

    • Kogenta says:

      @HalOfBorg: You need to re-read the actual linked article. The dryer had just been delivered, and the owner went to try and find some help to bring it in when it “magically” vanished.

      They had a washing machine installed a few days earlier.

    • roguemarvel says:

      @HalOfBorg: it wasn’t installed outside. It was sitting outside while they went to get help bring it in. The washer that the new dryer matched had been installed inside already which is why only the new dryer was sitting next to the house not a washer and dryer.

      I was confused on that to till I read the article.

    • the_wiggle says:

      @HalOfBorg: actually, a lot of folks do just that out here in the SW. got enough heat as it is, don’t need the dryer adding to it.

      however, no one does so in the front yard. . . .

  5. Thumbmaster says:

    I feel bad for the OP but honestly, if I have a $400 dryer sitting in front of my house, I wouldn’t leave it unattended. Maybe a better course of action would have been to have one of the couple watch the dryer while the other looks for help? Or if only one of them was around, keep watch on the dryer and call someone. Just as you wouldn’t put down a small stack of Jacksons in front of your house unattended, same should go for any brand new appliance.

  6. pmcpa4 says:

    Just a question…. who has a drier installed on a pad OUTSIDE????

  7. StanTheManDean says:

    The garbage men disconnected the unit?

    ” The new washing machine had been delivered and installed several days prior, Donyell said “

    The garbage men disconnected the unit?

    Yea, right. BS.

  8. TPK says:

    I can’t believe there haven’t been any West Virginia jokes on this yet… is everyone asleep today?

    “Interesting story, I wonder why this doesn’t work for the cars on blocks in the front yard?”

    There, I feel better now… And half my ancestors are from WV, so before you complain… :-)

  9. wvFrugan says:

    Just so all you folks that live in areas where getting your trash disposed of is a big deal and suggest things like a fancy”appliance garbage sticker” understand, this IS West Virginia.
    Actually I live in South Charleston, for $6.25 every 3 months/quarter, the city haulks everything an antything away at least 3 times a week and will even get the can from behind the house. They pick up regular trash Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, as well as recycling on Monday and god-awful big shit on Wednesday. I literally bought the house next door and tore it down years ago over a couple weeks and the city picked it all up with me just dumping it at the street (they sent up a front-end loader & open trucks). Here in WV I think they know that you just about have to bribe people to throw shit out: years ago the state gave people $200.00 for each clunker they let the sate haul off their property to pretty things up a bit!

  10. A_smilodon says:

    Reading the article it seems it was only the drying and the old washing machine that were taken. The dryer had been left out for a little while while the owner was inside looking for someone to help him move it down to the basement. There’s nothing in the story about it or the washer being set up outside. Really the city needs to either cough up the washer (as one of the comments on the article says appliances are supposed to be recycled so where is it?) or pay them for it.

  11. anachro882 says:

    Definitely sounds like theft considering washers and dryers can usually sit around for decades in WV front yards.

  12. NaomiK says:

    The garbage collectors in my city (Minneapolis) will haul away practically anything short of nuclear waste; you are supposed to put a sign on it saying that it’s garbage, but I could totally see this happening here if you had your appliance delivered at exactly the wrong time.

    During yard waste pickup season one year we left two large bags of leaves in our yard where they were visible from the alley. We did NOT leave them in the trash pickup spot because we were intending to use the leaves as mulch. The garbage guys walked through our yard to grab the bags and hauled them off. That was a trivial annoyance and their intentions were good, but you can see why I can imagine them collecting a brand new appliance along with the broken one…

  13. Moosenogger says:

    I can understand why they thought they had to take the dryer.

    “Oh, they’re throwing away their old washer. Must have gotten a new one. Wait, there’s a dryer over there. I bet they bought a whole new set! Guess they couldn’t get it all the way to the curb.”

    It’s understandable, but a costly mistake. The city needs to reimburse them for the cost of the dryer.

  14. verbatim613 says:

    Whether your city is safe or unsafe, never leave ANYTHING unattended.

  15. millertime1211 says:

    The washer was installed 4 days earlier? Who leaves a new dryer outside by the curb for 4 day?! Stupid hurts!

  16. greatgoogly says:

    anyone, want to bet that new dryer is now in the home of one of the trash collectors?

  17. backbroken says:

    It’s pretty much understood that anything left within shouting distance of the street will be taken by our trash collectors if they ‘like it.’ I lost my kids portable mini basketball hoop that way and my neighbor lost an 8′ step ladder.

    Did it piss us off? YES. But what are we going to do? Call and complain? Then the next time they come they “won’t be able to take our trash because there was a car parked in the way.” Or “we came to get your trash but an animal had already strewn it about your yard. Honest.”

    • katia802 says:

      @backbroken: Yup, think you live in the same city as me. Never never never complain where it can be traced back to you, amazing what can happen. Neighbor’s trellis was taken out of her front walkway (guess they thought it was trash) last year. Of course the fact that my neighbor is a sincere jerk stopped me from doing anything more than smirking when it happened, (yes, i am bad person sometimes. Later I heard she complained about them being too loud when they were picking up her trash.

  18. MeOhMy says:

    In my neighborhood we have “salvagers” who drive around the neighborhood and pick trash. Which wouldn’t be so bad except they are known to employ a somewhat loose construction of what must be trash (i.e. they will steal something from your yard and if they get busted they say “oh sorry, we thought that was on the trash” as if something on the side of your house 40 ft from the curb could possibly be mistaken as being curbside).

    If this happened in my neighborhood, I’d have to wonder if it was really the garbage men…

  19. sli says:

    Uh, considering? They’d better get right on it.

  20. Stiggy says:

    So, wait, am I missing something here? The washer was installed outdoors?

  21. YourEveryDayAdam says:

    Sounds like an honest mistake by both the resident and the trash collection people.

    Stupid mistake by the resident to leave a washer, unattended, near the junk one. And an honest mistake by a trash collection person who’s just doing their job and trying to clear the street of trash. If I saw a washer on the side of the road on bulk trash collection day, i’d probably haul it away too.