Can You Put Your Trash In Someone Else’s Bin In Missoula?
I'll probably age myself by admitting this, but I'm in the generation that was taught early--like kindergarten and first grade--about things I could do to protect the environment. I was taught to turn the water off while brushing my teeth and washing my hands. Though, thanks to the pandemic, I learned that turning the water off while washing your hands is not the right way to do it (remember all those "how to wash your hands" videos?!).
Don't Be a Litterbug!
Another thing I was taught was to pick up litter--everywhere. It's a habit now. If I see litter I pick it up and drop it in the nearest garbage can. You know, trying to be a good citizen and whatnot. Turns out, I may have been breaking the law.
You've probably done it too. Say you're walking your dog and you use a bag to pick up the poo. It's garbage day and someone's bin is by the curb. You throw it in the bin, right? I mean, it's all going to the dump whether it's in their garbage bin or yours, right? Wrong.
Missoula Municipal Code for Health and Safety
I visited the City of Missoula website and came across the Missoula Municipal Code for Health and Safety. After some lengthy definitions and stipulations about containers, you'll find the ordinance for littering. It says:
D. It is unlawful for any person to deposit household garbage or refuse in garbage or refuse containers maintained for the use of other residences or establishments. (Ord. 3420, 2010; Ord. 3419, 2010; Ord. 3412, 2009; Ord. 2096 §3, 1979)
"Other residences or establishments" so yeah, in laymen's terms that means someone else's garbage bin.
I imagine that this ordinance might be difficult to enforce, but if you regularly put your trash in someone else's container, it could be a problem. For full details about refuse management in Missoula, you can read all the ordinances here.