i really enjoy our good neighbours. but the people downstairs? absolutely vile.
for about 4 years we put out the green bin every week and tehy put out whatever the other bin was (it alternates between recycling and garbage every week). fine. no issues. we also always cleaned up the green bin when the racoons spilled and rifled through it. actually i say ‘we’ but i really mean ‘jim’. jim has cleaned it up every time. and in the summer that is a nasty job.
so last summer, suddenly this system wasn’t good enough. so they wanted to change the system. they wanted us to put out both bins on week a, and they put out both bins on week b, and alternate like that. fine. we don’t care how we go about it or what pattern you want, so long as its an equal responsibility. you can dictate what that looks like, suit yourself. so we did that for a bit. there were a few weeks in the summer where either we or they were not home, and so we just took over for each other when that happened. again, no issues.
very quickly, they stopped putting out the green bin. we watched this for a few weeks wondering what passive-aggressive attempt at communication was this? and eventually i took to putting the bin out myself on their weeks. this meant that we were putting out the green bin on our week along with the other bin (whatever it was that week) and then on their week, they only put out the one bin and generally me but sometimes jim would go out and put out the green bin. in the summer, the green bin gets nasty very fast. its not really a great idea to leave it for two weeks. so we kinda just absorbed that and did it ourselves because of the nasty factor.
during this time there was also constant bullying happening about the lawn or when we did laundry or WHAT we put in the laundry (nothing that makes a thumping noise) or where the girls were allowed to do chalk. with that going on in the background, eventually i got annoyed with doing their job for them since they were asses to us about so many other things, and i stopped putting out the green bin when it wasn’t our week.
they did nothing. for months.
recently, both me and Jim have asked them very nicely to put out the green bin on their weeks, as per our rental agreement and their own system that they suggested at beginning of summer. the first time Jim asked our neighbour about it, he swore at Jim. but we got a reason out of him – he doesn’t put out the green bin becasue he doesn’t believe that Jim cleans it up well enough when the racoons spill it. the one time he was talking about specifically was the day before Halloween when, we suspect, we were the victim of a prank. somebody (and not raccoons who would not be strong enough to do this) dragged our green bin to the front lawn and dumped it all over the lawn. Jim cleaned it up as best her could, which was about 90% of the garbage. the rest was cornflour and cat litter. yeah, can’t pick that up. apparently not picking up the individual grains of cornflour and cat litter is ‘not good enough” to a man who has never bothered to clean up the spilled garbage once in five years. so he stopped putting the garbage out. btw, Jim was blown away that this was the reasoning behind their disregard to their own responsibilities. it doesn’t make sense at all. they are annoyed that Jim does 100% of the clean up when the garbage is knocked over?
we talked to the landlady. she basically said “don’t get me roped into this i want to stay out of it.” k thanks lady, super helpful. so we tried talking to them again a few more times and continued to get yelled at, etc. neighbour likes to insinuate that we are dumb and lazy so we get condescending comments a lot. at some point recently, neighbour knocked on the door to yell at me about where we park the car, which was a rental, which we cannot park on the street because it does not have a permit, so it needs to be parked in the alley. apparently this is a great big deal. then neighbour called landlady to bitch to her about where we park the car. so landlady calls us and talks to us, and does this awesome thing where she hears us out. that parking issue is explained and she knows that its a temporary issue until we get our new car. no problem. and Jim says “btw, they still arent putting out the garbage and we have tried to talk to them,” and really, its about time she does something helpful. so she calls them.
she reports back to us. neighbours have stopped using the green garbage entirely and now think that becasue they don’t use it, they are no longer responsible for them. (not sure how they would feel if we stopped using the recycling and said ‘too bad, we arent dragging it to the curb any longer”) we point out that putting food scraps into the grey bins is, in fact, illegal. neighbour suggests a system where they put out one bin on their week and we put out two bins on our week and one bin also on their week. we say no deal. landlady makes them take out the green bin that week.
so neighbour grudgingly takes out the green bin. when we see it later, it’s top is snapped off and missing. Jim is suspicious that neighbour broke it on purpose.
landlady writes a letter to both us and the neighbours. it clearly states that hte garbage is a 50/50 responsibility. we leave it to neighbours to dictate what thats going to look like.
on their week, which is this week, they put out only one bin. fuckers.
i leave this morning with both girls to go to school, and the woman neighbour who has generally been super sweet to us leaves her door at the same time. we greet each other and talk about cocos school for a moment. then i ask:
“hey, what do you want to do about the garbage?”
“what do you mean?”
“well i put out the green bin today becuase you guys didnt even though its your week. so i just want everyone on the same page. what system do you want? we are flexible. if you won’t do the green garbage we will do it every week”
“great, thats fine”
“but you need ot do the other bin every week.”
“no. only on our weeks.”
“we just got a letter saying it neesd tobe a 50/50 split.”
“we don’t use the green garbage”
“are you aware that you are legally obligated to use the green garbage?”
“so if we stopped using the recycling that would mean we didnt need to put it out?”
“yes, but you do, so you have to”
“but not putting out the green bin is not a fair 50/50 split.”
to which she flipped me off and said “up yours kyla” and marched off.
holy fuck. its totally absurd, the bullying. ITS JUST A GODDAMN GARBAGE BIN STOP BEING TOTAL ASSHOLES.
i am in favour of getting our own bins. we can have our own recycling and our own garbage and take the green bin since they ignore it and we will put out of our garbage every week and its done with. i thought about talking to our neighbour Jane who is one of those lovely neighbours, and asking could we share her bins and we should share putting them out with her on garbage day. then we arent using ANY of our own bins and since we arent using them we are no longer responsible for putting them out, as per our neighbours own logic. or we can move.
it is starting to creep under my skin and im finding myself thinking ‘am i really terrible? am i being super rude and nasty like they think i am? somebody here isn’t right, and it could be me! maybe im an awful person!” and thats a bad slippery slope. i can’t risk going that route at all. right now, i am scared every time the doorbell rings in case its my neighbour come to yell at me about something i didn’t know i did wrong. i am anxious when i go outside my door in case i bump into him and he says something nasty. i was going to put on some laundry today – the basket is by the door, but i opted not to because i don’t want to inadvertently, unknowingly do anything thats going to get me insulted. i don’t want to park the car anywhere, do any more laundry, or put out any more garbage ever again.
so this morning jim drafted this letter.
I hope that this letter will end our current difficulties over our collective garbage duties. First, I would like to outline the situation as I see it, so that you will understand my position. For more than four years, we had a system whereby each week we would take out the green bin and you would take out the other bin. We never had any disputes using this arrangement. Last summer, you were going to be spending more time away from home and wanted to change the system to ensure that the garbage was taken out. You suggested that we switch to a system of alternating weeks, and we agreed. However, almost from the beginning, you were delinquent in your duties under this system and for the past six months it has fallen to Kyla and I to take out the green bin every week. We have been doing your job for you, and you have been rude to us about it. Given your dismissive, unproductive, insulting, and obscene treatment of us despite our ongoing consideration, we are not inclined to continue doing you this favour every week.
Pursuant to Deborah’s letter, which clearly outlines that the garbage is a 50% responsibility, we will do as she asks and do half the work. Since you will not do the green bin, this means that we will be doing the green bin every week, and cleaning it up when raccoons spill it. It is our belief that this constitutes more than 50% of the work, as raccoons do not spill the larger bins. Thus, the rest falls to you.
Deborah has informed us that you do not use the green garbage, despite the fact that you are legally obligated to do so, and that it is your belief that this excuses you from your responsibilities. It does not. Notwithstanding the illegal nature of your activities, it is also a fact that nearly all of the waste that our family produces goes into the green and blue bins. I have calculated that it would take us approximately six months of our regular garbage in order to fill the large black bin. So you barely use the green bin and we barely use the black bin. The responsibility for garbage removal remains 50-50, as outlined in the lease and as re-iterated by Deborah in her letter to us.
Kyla and I have each tried to speak to you on separate occasions about this, requesting politely for you to take out the green bin as Deborah instructed, only to have you two swear at both of us. You are apparently not open to negotiation and we are not interested in the stress of continuing this struggle. We welcome the return to the system that served us fairly and in a conflict-free way for four years and hope that this will resolve the issue fully. We do not wish for any further conflict with you, and we have been paying close attention to our responsibilities that Deborah outlined in her letter.
No reply to this letter is necessary. We will do our share and expect you to do yours.
I am delivering a copy of this letter to Deborah to keep her abreast of the situation.
cant image the abuse that’s going to stir up.