Garbage in – Garbage Out – of the Condo Garage

Here is the problem sent to me in an email:

“We have a rule in our CC&R’s sections of our Association regarding trash… “….No owner shall permit or cause any trash or refuse to be kept on any portion of the project other than receptacles customarily used for it, which shall be stored within garages and fenced sideyards except on the scheduled day for trash pick up...”

Our trash pick up is scheduled weekly, Friday mornings.    Our garage, (the place we are told to keep our trash bins) is not insulated, so on a day to day basis, the temperature inside the garage averages 85 degrees, and during summer months it can go well over 100 degrees.  After 4-5 days, we see maggots emerging from our trash and crawling out of our trash onto the garage floor, which is directly next to the laundry machines and other storage supplies.  By the next scheduled pick up, (1 week later) our garage has an infestation of maggots which takes hours to clean and money for extermination.   (All of the trash inside of the bin is located within double tied plastic kitchen trash bags).

Because of this biohazard, we have left the trash directly in front (outside) of our garage door, where temperatures are cooler and if maggots emerge, they will crawl outside and not onto our garage floor.  While there, the bins are in public view and we have received notices from the association to let us know that we are in violation of the rules.

We are scheduled for a notice of hearing regarding this issue and may be fined.

Can we fight this?  We will not agree to allow maggots crawl over the garage floor.  There are no other common trash receptacles for us to place our trash, so we need to keep the trash bin outside our garage door.”

These are things that come to mind to solve this (since leaving the garbage out in plain view is not acceptable):

 1. See if there is some way to screen the bins (either a constructed option or planting of shrubs or the like) outside the garage on the side or even in front if there is no side yard, and propose that as a measure to the board.

 2. Secure the garbage in bags in the garage in a plastic bin or bins that have airtight lids until the day before or of pickup and then transfer them to the garbage bin and place it at the street.

 3. Spray some kind of bug repellent around your garbage bin and/or keep some kind of sanitizer inside that kills maggots.

 4. Or do as my 85 year old mother does (and she lives in Iowa where people have to deal with heat AND humidity in the summer): recycle everything that is recyclable. Waste little. Rinse out everything that is a container that goes in or does not go in the recycle bin. Run all garbage that can be shredded and chopped down the garbage disposal, and cut food up if needed (she cuts the top off bananas and puts the skins down, and puts the tops in the trash). As a result, she has very little garbage, and very little smell.

 You can “fight” the board, but it may be a losing battle. Ever heard the phrase: “Pick your battles?”

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