How Early Should You Be Able To Put Out Your Garbage Without Getting Fined?

Though most people think of “Trash Day” as the day of the week on which their garbage is collected, many of us place our refuse on the curb the night before. But how early is too early to put out the trash?

This is the question being raised in New York City, where some residents are furious about $100 fines from the Dept. of Sanitation for putting their garbage out before prescribed hours.

“I think it’s crazy that without a warning or anything, it should have been a warning. Unless they’re trying to make money, which is what I think,” says one Queens resident who was fined for taking out the garbage 30 minutes before city guidelines allow.

Much like many cities and towns around the country, NYC has specific time slots for placing your trash bags and cans on the sidewalk. During the summer, you can be fined for putting the garbage out before 5 p.m.; the rest of the year, it’s 4 p.m.

While a local politician says the Dept. of Sanitation overstepped its bounds by enacting the policy without a public comment period, the bigger question is whether or not these guidelines are fair.

Thus, we’re asking you, the readers of Consumerist, to give us your feelings on just when garbage should be put out — and whether or not a fine should be levied for violators.