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Can You Park in Front of Trash Cans? (Is It Illegal?)

Can You Park in Front of Trash Cans? (Is It Illegal?)

Parking regulation is not properly understood, and many often get it wrong. One of the biggest confusions is parking in front of trash cans. While the law varies in different states, there are basic laws that abide. Parking in front of a trash can isn’t appropriate because it hinders easy collection, increases traffic, and endangers the safety of operators.

This article explains why parking in front of a trash can isn’t appropriate. Keep reading to clear any confusion that you may have.

Can You Park in Front of Garbage Cans?

Parking in front of garbage cans is not illegal, but it is not the right thing to do because you will be creating a hard time for waste collectors. The sanitation workers are going to have a hard time collecting waste from the trash cans if your car is in between their truck and the trash can.

Most jurisdictions forbid residents from leaving trash cans on the public street. Trash cans are to be placed on private properties. However, in cases where trash cans are placed in public spaces, it is not illegal to park.

Parking in front of a trash can is not always the right option because the sanitation workers will have difficulty reaching them if you have blocked the way. If you are packing in front of a trash can, keep enough space for a large garbage truck because you will be preventing your car from damages and the garbage men will get to do their job.

How Close Can You Park to a Trash Can?

Leave as much space as you can when parking in front of a trash can so you won’t hinder waste collectors from their job. Give a space about 6 feet away from a trash can before parking. It has become much easier to collect waste now that most trucks are mechanized.

To be on the safe side, park two cars away from a trash can because the waste collector company won’t be responsible for the damages done to your car.

It would be polite to refrain from parking in front of a trash can to ensure a seamless collection, minimize traffic disturbance, and lower the risk to operators who would have to exit the truck to retrieve the bin.

Is it Illegal to Park in Front of Trash Cans?

Waste collectors have no choice but to move to the next stop if a trash can is blocked. This will affect the trash can owner and hinder waste collection. However, parking in front of trash cans is not illegal.

In situations where a car is blocking a trash can, the waste collector will request the car be moved. However, they will move to the next stop when the car owner is nowhere to be seen. The garbageman may snap a photo, report it, and go on to the next location.

Modern businesses speed up the process by using tablets or laptops in their vehicles. With just a few touches, it snaps a photo, records the date and time, and sends it to the dispatch center.

Yes, it is not illegal. However, it is not a smart thing to do. To ensure a seamless collection, minimize traffic disruption, and lessen the risk to operators who would have to exit the truck to collect the bin, it is always preferable to refrain from parking in front of a trash can.

Where Should the Trash Cans be Placed on the Street?

Waste collection firms provide information regarding the appropriate way to place one’s trash can for easy collection. Knowing when to keep trash cans away from cars, the curb, and a fence is important.

Placing your trash can properly ensures easy waste collection. Garbage cans should be on the curb directly in front of your house. The metal bar on the back of the trash can should face the road, and the wheels should be facing your house.

You shouldn’t place your trash cans in a public space or on the street because the law forbids it. You will require a permit to place a dumpster on the street to avoid fines or community service. You should leave your trash containers on the sidewalk close to the curb.

Your residential driveway is another place to place your trash can because it doesn’t require a permit. If you plan to install your dumpster in a public area, you will require a permit to avoid fines.

Keep in mind that dumpster permit restrictions differ from city to city. Some cities only enforce permits if the container is on public property, while others want them whenever the dumpster is visible to pedestrians.


Can You Reserve a Parking Space With Your Trash Can?

Reserving a public parking space with your trash can is wrong. Public spaces belong to the community, which means everyone has access to it. Not only is your action considered selfish, but it is also illegal.

Those spaces in front of your house are public spaces, and you can’t claim them with your trash cans. Since the community has not placed signs prohibiting unrestricted parking, you don’t have the right to keep parking spaces because it is a public property.

Whosoever gets to the park first gets the space because it is accessible to everyone. You can be charged with public nuisance by leaving your trash can in a public parking space. It is illegal to save a parking spot with a cone or any object in many cities. It is just not right to put up barriers to prevent people from parking. You can inquire about the penalty for leaving trash cans in the street from your local police station.

Can You Get a Ticket for Parking in Front of the Dumpster?

Parking in front of a dumpster isn’t always considered acceptable, and one could get a parking ticket.

People often park in front of a dumpster when there are just a few parking spaces. However, it will appear that you weren’t in a real parking spot and instead were in a traffic lane if you park in front of a dumpster.

Also, parking in front of the dumpster where it has been stated that you shouldn’t park could make them give you a ticket because you should have identified it is not a parking space.

Is it Illegal to Put Trash in Other People’s Trash Cans?

While waste management laws vary in every state, putting trash in other people’s trash cans is considered illegal dumping. The law forbids the unlicensed disposal of trash on private property. Placing trash in a dumpster on a private site is illegal because you are not paying for the containers.

This act of illegal dumping can attract fines or community service. While the garbage containers are public property accessible to everyone, it ceases to be when assigned to a property. So, it is prohibited to place trash in a container that is not your own. However, it is not considered illegal to toss trash into someone else’s trash can if it is in a public space.

Can You Move Someone’s Trash Can to the Park?

The best thing to do is to inform the owner of the trash can before moving their trash can. The person could have placed it to ensure garbage collectors could easily see it during waste collection. While it is not a crime to move someone else’s trash can, you will be trespassing if you move it to their park.

Moving a trash can is acceptable as long as you don’t place it where it poses a hazard like a driveway because you could be charged with nuisance.

However, it is wrong to move someone else’s trash can when it is not obstructing passage. Also, you shouldn’t consider taking someone else’s trash can since it is not your property because the waste collection firm can fine you.

What to Do When a Trash Can Block the Driveway?

There are two ways to handle this situation: either you move the trash can from the driveway or make a complaint against the owner.

Moving a trash can when it obstructs movement in a public space is a good thing to do. Filing a complaint is another option, especially if the trash can is always on the driveway. You can also choose to charge the owner with public nuisance if the trash can prevent you from going in and out of your driveway.

You can also charge someone with trespassing if they move their trash cans into your driveway. However, you should handle the situation nicely by moving their trash can into a safer space where it is not hazardous to drivers.


You can park in front of trash cans if they obstruct traffic. The law doesn’t consider it illegal, but your actions will prevent the garbage operators from doing their job.

However, parking in a dumping zone is considered illegal parking, which means that your car can be towed away, or you will be given a parking ticket. Ensure you leave between 8 to 10 feet to avoid blocking someone else’s trash can. Always know the rules in your municipality to avoid being reported for illegal parking.