Rogue Garbage Truck Kidnaps My Trash, Demands Ransom

Reader Fubish lives in a rural area, where he pays for his own trash pickup. That’s pretty normal. What isn’t normal is that one day last month, an unfamiliar truck stopped in front of his house and took his trash. His regular hauler came by later and found the empty cans. Now, it would be one thing if the rogue hauler admitted that they stopped at the wrong house and just said, “oops, our bad.” But they’ve sent him a bill for the pickup that he didn’t want and never asked for.

Here in very rural Vermont we don’t have any kind of municipal trash collection. We pay a monthly fee to a small local private hauler to collect our trash every week (and this is one reason compost piles are important around here). Very early one morning a last month on trash day as I had my morning coffee, I watched an unfamiliar, unmarked garbage truck stop and pick up our trash. I thought our regular trash guy had a new truck.

An hour later, our regular guy shows up, and looks at the empty barrels. I went out to see him and we both wondered who the hell did a trash pick-up. The following week I get a bill in the mail for $10 from the people who picked up our trash by mistake. I called them to straighten it out, and they insisted I pay even though it was their error. The nice lady on the phone said I should have gone outside and stopped them (yeah, me in my jam-jams and a foot of snow on the ground).

I guess I could have insisted they return my trash but I’m afraid they’d just dump a full garbage truck at the end of my driveway. One more thing”: the barrels were behind my property line – is it theft? Hahahaha. Anyway, I’m waiting to see what their next step will be.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.