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Old 03.10.2018, 23:31
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Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

There is an old woman living in our building, that our crazy agency told she can be hauswart, while she is literally walking with the granny walk helper or whatever it's called, doing nothing around the building, just acting as a police for silly things.
Usually I don't care about what she does, just nod, say ok I will do, and walk on when she acts out, but I noticed that she writes complains that the tenants don't close garbage well, and then she actually goes through it like a cop, to find a receipt or something and determine who it belongs to, if it's not tied properly or something.

This I really don't like. Wondered if it's actually legal, it really looks like something it shouldn't be. I'm thinking to call the police next time I see her digging through the garbage, but I'm not sure if this is something normal here...

Also, can I make a complaint about the agency if they are actually giving my money to someone who says it's a hauswart, but obviously cannot do anything useful?
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Old 03.10.2018, 23:40
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

Totally legal and normal.
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Old 03.10.2018, 23:43
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

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Originally Posted by Dougal's Breakfast View Post
Totally legal and normal.
For Switzerland, the best country in the world
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Old 03.10.2018, 23:48
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

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Originally Posted by Dougal's Breakfast View Post
Totally legal and normal.
man, I thought there is at least a bit of protection from my neighbours counting how many condoms I spent last week, just to name the most benign thing one can find in trash...
it's weird if it's legal. I don't mind the police, but having a nosy neighbour really feels wrong.

edit: just saw I made a spelling mistake in title, can't find a way to change it?
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Old 03.10.2018, 23:50
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

I don't think this is allowed but maybe someone can prove the opposite.
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Old 03.10.2018, 23:53
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

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Originally Posted by celt View Post
man, I thought there is at least a bit of protection from my neighbours counting how many condoms I spent last week, just to name the most benign thing one can find in trash...
it's weird if it's legal. I don't mind the police, but having a nosy neighbour really feels wrong.
It's trash: you've discarded it, so technically it's no longer yours. Probably. (I'm not a lawyer, just so we're all clear!).

I agree that it's a bit unpleasant, and it used to make me a bit paranoid when I first arrived, but I soon learnt that it was better to dispose of awkward items in the lake at night, heavily weighted down with stones to make them sink. They'd been attracting flies anyway.

If you have a fire or tile stove, you can dispose of sensitive papers there. You're not supposed to, but your hauswart can't sift through smoke, can she?
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Old 04.10.2018, 00:05
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

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Originally Posted by Dougal's Breakfast View Post
It's trash: you've discarded it, so technically it's no longer yours. Probably. (I'm not a lawyer, just so we're all clear!).

I agree that it's a bit unpleasant, and it used to make me a bit paranoid when I first arrived, but I soon learnt that it was better to dispose of awkward items in the lake at night, heavily weighted down with stones to make them sink. They'd been attracting flies anyway.

If you have a fire or tile stove, you can dispose of sensitive papers there. You're not supposed to, but your hauswart can't sift through smoke, can she?
I guess it is technically no longer mine... Maybe I can try a bit more passive-aggressive type of swissTM approach and leave in each bag 3-4 leaflet adds for assisted living (or assisted suicide, i don't know...) or something like this. just in case
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Old 04.10.2018, 00:36
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

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Originally Posted by Dougal's Breakfast View Post
It's trash: you've discarded it, so technically it's no longer yours. Probably. (I'm not a lawyer, just so we're all clear!).
Actually, in many localities in the US and (I think but am not certain) in Australia, the rubbish you put out for collection remains your property until collected by the designated waste disposal service. I don't know what the law is in Switzerland, although we've all heard stories of the Abfallpolizei going through garbage bags, hoping to find PET bottles or evidence of ownership of unpaid-for garbage (you think I'm joking, newbies?); my guess is that regular citizens are not permitted to wade merrily through others' trash.

OP, I corrected the thread title, as you requested.
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Old 04.10.2018, 00:47
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

Personally I'd say the trash is from the collector the moment you put it in the container or on the street. Intention of handover is beyond doubt and that would be where possession transfers. Garbage might be garbage but it is actually worth money for those companies.

However she does not take anything away, she only looks through it. So it's a privacy concern. Best you can do is walk by the Gemeinde.

Oh and the agency can hire whomever they please for her function, could be me, could be her, could be you.
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Old 04.10.2018, 00:50
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

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Originally Posted by 22 yards View Post
Actually, in many localities in the US and (I think but am not certain) in Australia, the rubbish you put out for collection remains your property until collected by the designated waste disposal service. I don't know what the law is in Switzerland, although we've all heard stories of the Abfallpolizei going through garbage bags, hoping to find PET bottles or evidence of ownership of unpaid-for garbage (you think I'm joking, newbies?); my guess is that regular citizens are not permitted to wade merrily through others' trash.

OP, I corrected the thread title, as you requested.
Thanks!

Abfallpolizei, I know for them, and that's ok. They need to enforce the payments for the garbage collection through bags and they do it for a reason.

This is a normal civilian, thinking she is allowed to do this, doing the same, so that she can complain at the door that the trash was not tied properly. Really feels there should be a limit. Abfalpolizei can come and say if the bag was open that you didn't use the bag, if the trash is all around the place, but I think hauswart should not be allowed this.
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Old 04.10.2018, 01:00
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

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Originally Posted by EdwinNL View Post
Personally I'd say the trash is from the collector the moment you put it in the container or on the street. Intention of handover is beyond doubt and that would be where possession transfers. Garbage might be garbage but it is actually worth money for those companies.

However she does not take anything away, she only looks through it. So it's a privacy concern. Best you can do is walk by the Gemeinde.

Oh and the agency can hire whomever they please for her function, could be me, could be her, could be you.
How do you mean Gemeinde? They deal with this things?
Like complaints if the neighbour is peeping, intruding in some way, or similar stuff.

Always thought this is police business.
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Old 04.10.2018, 01:51
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by celt View Post
Thanks!

Abfallpolizei, I know for them, and that's ok. They need to enforce the payments for the garbage collection through bags and they do it for a reason.

This is a normal civilian, thinking she is allowed to do this....
Your neighbour has two roles, one as a "normal citizen" and one as the caretaker of the building, appointed by the agent or owner.

My sense is that the garbage first belongs to you, then later belongs to the refuse collection service. In between, the landlord is housing the garbage, as it were, temporarily, in the container, or on the side of the road on the landlord's property. At no time does the garbage become the property of any neighbour. However, the caretaker may have legitimate reasons to look through it. You could ask her (or the agent/landlord) what they might be.

My tip is to ask your caretaker what, exactly, she would like done with the garbage.

Take your time, and ask whether there is anything you are doing with your garbage, perhaps without realising it, that she thinks you should be doing differently? How does she think the bags should be tied? In which bags? Placed where? Could she walk with you now, and show you the spot? Is there any limit to the number of bags one is allowed to throw away in one week? Are there written rules about this, from the municipality? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using 17 litre vs. 35 litre bags? Does she buy hers from Migros or from Denner? Does she have a list of any relevant times and dates of collection? Could she please fetch such a list from her flat, and you would come with her now, to collect it?

I saw this brilliant tactic work very effectively with the High Priestess of the Shared Laundry.

The man determined to go very, very slowly. He asked her to show him how, exactly, she believed that the washing machine should be cleaned, and to show him which cloth she thought was the right one, where it should be placed after use, or whether it would be preferable if he brought his own cloth for this purpose. He asked whether she herself had a preferred and most efficient sequence of wiping down the machine, tumbler and air-vent, asked her to show him where she usually discarded the textile fluff, with which brush she cleaned the filter, and could she please show him right now, the best way to do it.... etc., etc., oh, and just one more thing, please, ad nauseam. And she was transformed from terrorising him to never, ever bothering to moan about anything he did or did not do, ever again!

https://youtu.be/QxBnaMGP2aY
Just one more thing, please...

Last edited by doropfiz; 04.10.2018 at 16:40. Reason: typo
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Old 04.10.2018, 04:52
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by celt View Post
There is an old woman living in our building, that our crazy agency told she can be hauswart, while she is literally walking with the granny walk helper or whatever it's called, doing nothing around the building, just acting as a police for silly things.
Yes it is called a social case in Switzerland. Mostly likely the poor woman can’t make it in live and the agency/owner has taken pity on her. We also have social cases at work etc...
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Old 04.10.2018, 07:41
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your thrash here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by celt View Post
man, I thought there is at least a bit of protection from my neighbours counting how many condoms I spent last week, just to name the most benign thing one can find in trash...



Surely can't take that long to count to one ?
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Old 04.10.2018, 07:49
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

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Originally Posted by Dougal's Breakfast View Post
...

If you have a fire or tile stove, you can dispose of sensitive papers there. You're not supposed to, but your hauswart can't sift through smoke, can she?
No but they can sift through the ashesb- paper ash is different from wood ash.
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Old 04.10.2018, 08:11
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

Someone should appraise the paparazzi of the rules. Haven't they been caught trawling through the bins of various 'slebs looking for discarded pregnancy tests / bank statements / coke wraps over the years?
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Old 04.10.2018, 09:02
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

I do know that there is a law stating that you cannot/must not put anything into a bag that doesn't belong to you. Fines have been handed out for this. Presumably then other people's refuse bags are also out of bounds.
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Old 04.10.2018, 09:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doropfiz View Post

Take your time, and ask whether there is anything you are doing with your garbage, perhaps without realising it, that she thinks you should be doing differently? How does she think the bags should be tied? In which bags? Placed where? Could she walk with you now, and show you the spot? Is there any limit to the number of bags one is allowed to throw away in one week? Are there written rules about this, from the municipality? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using 17 litre vs. 35 litre bags? Does she buy hers from Migros or from Denner? Does she have a list of any relevant times and dates of collection? Could she please fetch such a list from her flat, and you would come with her now, to collect it?
https://youtu.be/QxBnaMGP2aY
Just one more thing, please...
I think this would just fire her up
The thing is, one day she brings my rubbish bag on the stroller seat, rings my door, and says "the wrap got torn and it's opened a bit and this is bad". The whole situation looked really funny, so I chuckled a bit, ok she's on it again, and proposed that I cover it with another bag - this was ok. I even sellotaped it

Anyway, I bring the bag down and start wondering when did she see me take it out, and that moment I figure out I threw it away 4-5 days ago. So I ask next day the neighbour what the hell was that, and she's like, "yeah, she does this all the time, she says she is allowed to do it".

That's when I figured out she's actually going away from the dumpster with trash, and she's doing this every week. Sometimes she complains, sometimes not (I guess when you don't have the receipt in), but this is constant stuff, not one time, annoying thing. The neighbour actually told me quite a few stuff about the granny, that kind of creeps me out. Luckily I don't use the communal washing machine, bought mine after a week, as 90% of the people in the building, once I saw it will be very tricky to deal with the woman about the "rules for this".

So just to get the idea about the person. It's tough to beat someone who's life purpose is to be annoying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Today only View Post
Surely can't take that long to count to one ?
On a good week...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim2007 View Post
Yes it is called a social case in Switzerland. Mostly likely the poor woman can’t make it in live and the agency/owner has taken pity on her. We also have social cases at work etc...
It's dodgy. I pay for her, for the cleaning lady, for the gardener, for any additional work needed, and I don't know for what with nebenkosten. If she would just chill out I would be ok, but I'm literally paying for someone to be annoying to me (and everyone in the building) for no reason.

And I mean, it's not the first place I lived in Switzerland, it's particularly crazy situation. I don't know what's crazier, the granny, or the neighbours that are "yes, she's very annoying but what can you do"

Last edited by 3Wishes; 04.10.2018 at 10:52. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 04.10.2018, 09:17
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

I guess it's not an ideal suggestion but now that the weather has cooled down a bit, can you leave your rubbish on the balcony (if you have one) until collection day then toss it in the container on your way to work or even the night before? This would limit her window of opportunity to find something wrong with the bag or whatever it is she does.

She sounds painfully lonely, to be honest, and lives for the interaction more than the act of going through bins. Probably your neighbours have got the measure of her and are just letting her get on with it.

I remember my grandmother doing stuff like going to the shop just for a packet of mints or an onion, none of which she really needed but she got to chat (probably for longer than she should have done) to the cashier or someone walking their dog or in their garden, for example. Must be awful to be elderly and alone.
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Old 04.10.2018, 09:19
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Re: Are neighbours allowed to dig through your trash here?

Well she might be hungry. Give her a bone to munch on!
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