The Case of the Missing Garbage

My husband told me that he’d discovered something strange this morning. After putting out our garbage last night, he went to bring the bin to the curb this morning for our weekly pickup and noticed the bin was very light. He opened it. It was empty.

In Washington, or at least the Seattle area, our garbage situation is a little different. We have recycling bins for our plastic containers bottles, foil and paper. We have a yard waste bin for food scraps. All personal mail is shredded and put in the recycling bin. The items that go in our garbage are human waste, pet waste, plastic wrap and things like light bulbs and batteries. Certainly nothing exciting. Moreover, nothing that is in any way edible or would allow someone to steal our identities. In fact, they could learn very little about us from our garbage apart from the fact that I dye my hair and our cats poop…a lot.

So where did our garbage go?!!

Did someone take it? It seems like that is the only explanation. Raccoons would have left a huge mess. And they wouldn’t have gone after it anyway since it wouldn’t have smelled enticing. And if someone DID take it, WHY?!

We’ve had a bit of a silent feud brewing with our neighbors across the street. They have dogs. They let the dogs crap on our lawn. We put up a sign that has a picture of a dog crapping surrounded by a big “no” sign. The dogs still pooped there. Shortly after that, I started finding little plastic bags of dog crap in our garbage can. This annoyed me because our garbage men wouldn’t take them as is, so I’d have to put their little crap baggies into a normal garbage bag for pickup. So I started putting the glass recycling container on top of the garbage can to deter them from doing this. This morning, the glass container was not on top of the garbage can. My husband offered that maybe one of them went to put their dog crap in our can, felt guilty, and took our entire bag of garbage to their own can. That seems uncharacteristically considerate for someone who can’t walk across the street with a small bag of dog crap.

So I’m at a total loss here. Who or what could have taken our garbage and to what end? Moreover, is this something we should be concerned about? We were robbed last year and vandalized a month later. It’s not a dangerous neighborhood but crime does happen here. Is stealing garbage really a crime?

Please outline your theories in the comments.


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