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Old 05.06.2021, 20:31
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Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

Hi there,

Last I posted here I got groaned at for being perhaps too Swiss, despite being an immigrant It was specifically about people recycling glass at night and causing noise. So now I'm trying to understand if my neighbors' behavior is reasonable or not, with regards to a different matter.

A select subset of my neighbors (about 3 households in a 14 household building) leave trash in common spaces. It's either trash bags overnight right at their apartment door, or (mostly) cardboard, for weeks at a time, in a common area near the elevator at the ground floor. They usually clear out the cardboard at the next collection day, but lately they slacked off even doing that. Even if they do, it looks like crap for many days and it's just inconsiderate.

But again, I've been called oversensitive before, so I'd rather get a neutral, crowdsourced opinion, as it were, before reaching out to Hauswart.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
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Old 05.06.2021, 20:35
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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Hi there,

Last I posted here I got groaned at for being perhaps too Swiss, despite being an immigrant It was specifically about people recycling glass at night and causing noise. So now I'm trying to understand if my neighbors' behavior is reasonable or not, with regards to a different matter.

A select subset of my neighbors (about 3 households in a 14 household building) leave trash in common spaces. It's either trash bags overnight right at their apartment door, or (mostly) cardboard, for weeks at a time, in a common area near the elevator at the ground floor. They usually clear out the cardboard at the next collection day, but lately they slacked off even doing that. Even if they do, it looks like crap for many days and it's just inconsiderate.

But again, I've been called oversensitive before, so I'd rather get a neutral, crowdsourced opinion, as it were, before reaching out to Hauswart.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
Not acceptable. Common spaces are used for designated purposes only.

You're slowly becoming Swiss
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Old 05.06.2021, 20:38
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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Not acceptable. Common spaces are used for designated purposes only.

You're slowly becoming Swiss
Thanks for the input! I should also mention that this isn't neatly bound cardboard, they just shove out their Galaxus boxes and deal with flattening them out later, if at all; we've even had some not being picked up and rotting in front of the building for a few weeks, that was wonderful.

I assume emails with pictures to Hauswart would be the first step, right?
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Old 05.06.2021, 20:48
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

Morally speaking, you should first talk with the offender before reporting him. However, if you'd like to skip that step, then take photos and report him as planned.
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Old 05.06.2021, 20:53
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

In general, no, it is not allowed. The reason for this is because anything left in the stair-wells or anywhere near doors is a potential fire hazard. Not because the materials may burn (although they might, making things worse) but because anyone fleeing from the building might not see them (especially if it's at night, or there's a lot of smoke) and trip over them, then causing others to fall, etc. and not get out of the building in time.

That's the 100% superstrict version. And it does have a certain logic to it and is well worth implementing if it will keep everyone safer.

In practice, however, many buildings all over Switzerland do, indeed, have things in the common spaces: shoes, plants, bicycles, goods to be donated, and also re-cycling or rubbish on it's way out. From time to time a tenant, or the caretaker or landlord, rallies around and asks everyone to clear out their stuff and keep the common areas empty. This typically happens when a fire department does an inspection (and how and when that happens is probably different from region to region).

In any specific case, there's a balance between the absolute prohibition according to the letter of the law, and a bit of leeway and tolerance. Neighbours, even if one doesn't like them, just are there, and one has to get along past them, if not with them. Therefore, if possible, it's best to avoid becoming known to one's neighbours as That Awful Person Who Always Moans About Every Little Thing. As I have observed it, once a neighbour has that reputation the other tenants, the caretaker and landlord, tend to do less and not more of what that person wants.

If the building is unsafe because of the cardboard that is left lying around, then by all means ask the neighbours to please move it. If, on the other hand, the physical spaces in the hallway are large and the corner in which the things are dumped isn't in the main throughway for an exit during a fire, there might be room for tolerating it, as long as it is not emitting bad smells or collecting flies.

Alternatively, you could consider taking on the task of throwing it away for them, yourself. That's not your job, by any means, but perhaps they are not well, or old or in pain, or are burdened down by worries and cares, and could benefit from someone just being kind and doing them that small favour. And perhaps they'll be more motivated, the next time.

If you do choose to ask for a change, it's almost always best to approach the actual persons who are doing the thing you want changed, in person, rather than going straight to the caretaker, which is already seen to be an escalation.
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Old 05.06.2021, 20:54
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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I assume emails with pictures to Hauswart would be the first step, right?
No, definitely not. Photos, yes. But as olygirl said, speaking to the neighbours themselves is the first step.
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Old 05.06.2021, 20:58
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

Also decide what outcome would be acceptable to you.

Perhaps the cardboard would be OK as long as it is packed neatly, then you have a goal to agree on.
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Old 05.06.2021, 21:10
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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Therefore, if possible, it's best to avoid becoming known to one's neighbours as That Awful Person Who Always Moans About Every Little Thing. As I have observed it, once a neighbour has that reputation the other tenants, the caretaker and landlord, tend to do less and not more of what that person wants.
Thanks for the data points, this is exactly what I'm trying to avoid and why I asked here first. If it's a big no-no, I'm happy to push against it because it also happens to annoy me. If it's borderline, I'd rather choose my battles: maybe the next thing that bothers me is more important and I should invest my social capital in that. Or, ideally, my neighbors and I will find common ground and there is no need to complain at all.

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Alternatively, you could consider taking on the task of throwing it away for them, yourself. That's not your job, by any means, but perhaps they are not well, or old or in pain, or are burdened down by worries and cares, and could benefit from someone just being kind and doing them that small favour. And perhaps they'll be more motivated, the next time.
Not old, not in pain, they don't seem to work crazy hours, and at least one family acts like they own the damn building. I checked, they don't

Since this has happened regularly for years I'm also excluding a perpetual quarantine.
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Old 05.06.2021, 21:26
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

You might be right that your offending neighbours are just lazy and selfish. That's really, really annoying, to have to live with people like that. Whether or not they are in pain, though, physical or psychological, well, you probably can't actually know that from looking in from the outside.

Anyway, well done for wanting to find a balance in knowing when to ask for a change, when to learn to look the other way, when to just do it yourself, and when to escalate. I think one of the more important distinctions to make is whether you want a change just because what they do "happens to annoy you" or whether there is a safety issue.

Since the cardboard thing has been going on for years, how does it actually get resolved? Who eventually moves the cardboard away, and when?
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Old 05.06.2021, 21:40
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

there are buildings that are kept very tidy, and others that are more relaxed. I would not try to go against the current.
If these boxes and items are not in the way, I don't think there is anything you can do about that without coming off as the moaner, since the owners haven't cared for all these years.
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Old 06.06.2021, 10:17
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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Since the cardboard thing has been going on for years, how does it actually get resolved? Who eventually moves the cardboard away, and when?
It's usually the same folks who pile it on, but it takes a month or two to clear them out, then they immediately start the next pile.

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the owners haven't cared for all these years
The building is owned by some fund, not actual people, so naturally they don't care. One other tenant complained before and Hauswart sent an angry letter, but nothing changed and that tenant moved away in the meantime.

Anyway, this has been a productive discussion, thanks, all! I understand that technically I'm right, but it's best to drop it since it's clearly not dangerous.
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Old 06.06.2021, 10:27
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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Hi there,

Last I posted here I got groaned at for being perhaps too Swiss, despite being an immigrant It was specifically about people recycling glass at night and causing noise. So now I'm trying to understand if my neighbors' behavior is reasonable or not, with regards to a different matter.

A select subset of my neighbors (about 3 households in a 14 household building) leave trash in common spaces. It's either trash bags overnight right at their apartment door, or (mostly) cardboard, for weeks at a time, in a common area near the elevator at the ground floor. They usually clear out the cardboard at the next collection day, but lately they slacked off even doing that. Even if they do, it looks like crap for many days and it's just inconsiderate.

But again, I've been called oversensitive before, so I'd rather get a neutral, crowdsourced opinion, as it were, before reaching out to Hauswart.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
It's not becoming Swiss, is just you being normal.

I would make some "posters" and stick them at the main entrance first.
"Please do NOT leave this and that!!!!" etc etc
Now that's becoming Swiss. My OH, who is more integrated than me, would call the police.

(half-kidding lol)
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Old 06.06.2021, 11:57
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

I also felt the same, as I found the arrangements around trash management a process that takes time to understand. I wish there would be a short video from cantonal authorities that would simply educate new residents how and where to handle the trash, dos and don'ts. I am even keen to seperate organic trash for compost purpose, but it seems that it requires a special card to access the designated bins for it, which I have not been able to figure out where to get them :-)
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Old 06.06.2021, 12:09
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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I also felt the same, as I found the arrangements around trash management a process that takes time to understand. I wish there would be a short video from cantonal authorities that would simply educate new residents how and where to handle the trash, dos and don'ts. I am even keen to seperate organic trash for compost purpose, but it seems that it requires a special card to access the designated bins for it, which I have not been able to figure out where to get them :-)
We just throw our compost in our compost heap at the rustico.

Tom
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Old 06.06.2021, 12:16
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

Just be glad you don't have the neighbour we had in SG. She was Cuban and practiced some form of Santeria in our common laundry room. I'd find incense, candles, and the skeletons of small animals laid out in a little shrine. She also stuffed the electrics closet with CDs.
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Old 06.06.2021, 12:17
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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I also felt the same, as I found the arrangements around trash management a process that takes time to understand. I wish there would be a short video from cantonal authorities that would simply educate new residents how and where to handle the trash, dos and don'ts. I am even keen to seperate organic trash for compost purpose, but it seems that it requires a special card to access the designated bins for it, which I have not been able to figure out where to get them :-)
Here's the general info about waste disposal:
https://www.bdm.bs.ch/Wohnen/basel-f...d-to-know.html

and here's the specific link about biological waste:
https://www.aue.bs.ch/abfaelle/haush...io-klappe.html
There, it says:
Momentan und in den nächsten Monaten gibt es keine Chipkarten zu kaufen. Interessierte Neukunden müssen sich gedulden.

Grundsätzlich beträgt der Preis einer Chipkarte 10.- Franken. Die Karte hat einen Chip, behandeln Sie sie wie eine Kreditkarte.

Ein Einwurf in die Bio-Klappe kostet 55 Rappen.
20 Einwürfe kosten 11.- Franken.
Die abbaubaren Beutel bekommen Sie gratis dazu.
At the moment, and for the next few months, there are no chip cards on sale. Interested new customers will have be wait.

Although I don't know for sure, I surmise that this either has something to do with Corona, or else the system is so successful that, for now, more people are contributing than there is capacity. Probably something like that.
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Old 06.06.2021, 15:16
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

Why not cut some of those waste bags open? That should give a good signal.
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Old 06.06.2021, 16:07
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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Why not cut some of those waste bags open? That should give a good signal.
it's not a good idea, but if you do it only cut the bottom parts
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Old 06.06.2021, 16:09
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

if your neighbors leave there rubbish in commun property I assume it's OK to leave your bags at the same place
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Old 06.06.2021, 16:17
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Re: Is it acceptable to leave trash and cardboard in common spaces in the building?

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Hi there,

Last I posted here I got groaned at for being perhaps too Swiss, despite being an immigrant It was specifically about people recycling glass at night and causing noise. So now I'm trying to understand if my neighbors' behavior is reasonable or not, with regards to a different matter.

A select subset of my neighbors (about 3 households in a 14 household building) leave trash in common spaces. It's either trash bags overnight right at their apartment door, or (mostly) cardboard, for weeks at a time, in a common area near the elevator at the ground floor. They usually clear out the cardboard at the next collection day, but lately they slacked off even doing that. Even if they do, it looks like crap for many days and it's just inconsiderate.

But again, I've been called oversensitive before, so I'd rather get a neutral, crowdsourced opinion, as it were, before reaching out to Hauswart.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
Mention both problems to the concierge/caretaker. If that doesn't make a difference with a couple of weeks then write to the agents (and if you're feeling brave enough contact the local fire station about the cardboard).
Cardboard stacked anywhere within a building is a fire hazard and dangerous.
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