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Old 25.08.2011, 15:14
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Did I do something wrong?

Since I moved into our apartment in January, there has been a pile of garbage (mostly rotten wooden planks) on the front exterior of our building. I decided it is ugly, no one else is doing anything about it, and I have time, so I moved it out to where the garbage is normally picked up (today is garbage day).

A neighbour from the next-door building, yelled at my neighbour's visible minority child, after assuming it was them who had left it there. The child then contacted me (because his mother knew I had moved the garbage so it would be picked up with the regular garbage collection). Apparently the neighbour was angry because it was on his side. Okay. No problem, I moved it to "our side" (the other side of a one foot cement wall) although I have never seen garbage left there for pick up.

Now the garbage collectors have came and went, and they did not take it. I am not sure why (maybe it's not considered household waste?) I don't have a car to take it to another place, if such a place exists, and in fact, it isn't my garbage. I just wanted to tidy up the neighbourhood a bit.

What did I do wrong here? And what should I do now?
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Old 25.08.2011, 15:22
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

First rule of the Swiss garbage club.

Don't feel guilty about the Swiss garbage club.
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Kudos on trying to clean up a bit. The swiss system is a little strange as people are legally accountable for thier own garbage and the law will act normally.

If it is not household waste in approved household waste bags, then the normal collection won't pick it up.

Can you describe said garbage in more detail?
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Old 25.08.2011, 15:25
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

It seemed to be the rotting fiberboard pieces of an old baby changing table (and smelled that way too). There was a coiled somewhat foamy part. An old rusty metal cloth drying rack. Random planks of wood and fiber board. I tried to put in an orderly fashion and stacked in a way that it would be easy to remove. Some of the pieces were quite large, though I was able to lift them all by myself and carry them the 20 meters from our building to the end of the driveway.
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Old 25.08.2011, 15:28
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

Yes, sorry, in this case the normal removal guys won't take it at all. Somebody else from your local geminde on the site will be along to help out shortly I am fairly sure. You can do a search on what to do about it on the site as well or call your local geminde and as them to deal with it. Just make sure they know it is not yours and that it was there when you arrived else you might be liable for the costs....and believe me, they can be expensive.
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Old 25.08.2011, 15:30
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

My French isn't up to it, but this page should tell you what to do with your houshold waste in Neuchatel.

http://www.ne.ch/neat/site/jsp/rubri...leu&CatId=9779
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:34
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

Update, as I feared, the concierge from the neighbouring building is already threatening to call the police. She is aware that the garbage has been outside my building for two years (ie:not mine) but she (fairly enough) doesn't want to deal with it. My concierge does not care and is okay with her calling the police. This seems extreme.

*sigh* This is one of those days where it is hard to like being here.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:40
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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Update, as I feared, the concierge from the neighbouring building is already threatening to call the police. .
It's the famous game "who's paying for it now?" that is far more popular than this overrated jass-game. Get the cash ready.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:46
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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A neighbour from the next-door building, yelled at my neighbour's visible minority child, after assuming it was them who had left it there.
Been reading many quotes like this over the last few weeks. I've never worked/lived anywhere else where this type of comment is so regular. It says something about the average Swiss, and it's far from pleasant.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:48
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

Can they really bill me for garbage that is not mine?
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:52
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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Been reading many quotes like this over the last few weeks. I've never worked/lived anywhere else where this type of comment is so regular. It says something about the average Swiss, and it's far from pleasant.
If a baby changing table were abandoned in front of my building I'd certainly be suspecting the families with children.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:54
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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Can they really bill me for garbage that is not mine?
Theoretically, yes, because by moving it you made it your problem (that's why nobody touched it for 2 years). But hopefully you'll be dealing with somebody with enough common sense to understand what really happened.
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Old 25.08.2011, 18:54
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

As long as there is a witness like your concierge that will confirm that the garbage took up residence before you did you will be in the clear. Sometimes they get a little stuck on principles rather than the practicallity of just cleaning the shit up. Perhaps write a nice note to everybody in your building and suggest that a kitty is taken to pay to have it taken away and got rid of.

I would be a bit ticked if I was the neighbour as well and there had been stuff lying around on the street for 2 years.
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Old 25.08.2011, 19:10
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

Our building is set back from the the neighbouring buildings which are on the street (which is why I originally put it where I normally put the garbage), since "our" part is a driveway, or basically a ramp. I can appreciate that she didn't want it in their garbage collection spot, so I put in on our ramp and it has only been there for an afternoon now. But two feet of our ramp belongs to that building (which I didn't know) and she said if it isn't gone she is going to throw it all over the place and call the police.
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Old 25.08.2011, 19:15
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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she said if it isn't gone she is going to throw it all over the place and call the police.
Three options.
1. Tell her to go and **** herself.
2. Tell her that it is not yours and that you are just trying to help sort it out. Can she perhaps help you understand how the local system works so that together you can find a good solution.
3. Let her throw it all around and then call the cops. When they arrive tell them perfectly truthfully that you don't know who's garbage it is but that crazy woman who screams at everybody all the time was shouting and throwing garbage all around. Perhaps they should talk to her. No, you don't know why she would call the police on herself but perhaps she is just trying to blame somebody else for the trash that she threw around. I mean you really don't know....it could actually be hers.
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Old 25.08.2011, 19:25
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

Oy, ja ....... garbage can be a problem.
Up the road here, some folk moved out of an apartment building, and on their final outward journey(never to return) discarded a piece of beat up old sofa - too awful for words, dirty, scrappy and stained - with a single Sfr5 sticker on it (Sfr5 here for 5 kg of scrap).

Two months later it is still standing on the sidewalk...

I wait to see how long it remains there - will the Gemeinde break down over this...? .... or will the owners be traced ........? I think they were Chinese folk, so tracing could be a bit difficult if they`ve returned to their homeland.....
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Old 25.08.2011, 19:44
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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If a baby changing table were abandoned in front of my building I'd certainly be suspecting the families with children.
How is that in any way whatsoever relevant to my comment? Let me try and twist it back to reality for you. Are you saying that if there were many families with children, you'd pick the obvious foreign one and just start shouting at them?
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Old 25.08.2011, 19:59
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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Update, as I feared, the concierge from the neighbouring building is already threatening to call the police. She is aware that the garbage has been outside my building for two years (ie:not mine) but she (fairly enough) doesn't want to deal with it. My concierge does not care and is okay with her calling the police. This seems extreme.

*sigh* This is one of those days where it is hard to like being here.
If you have a car and your priority now is to end this without any more hassle, take it up to the dump at Plaines-Roches (right at the top of the town beyond Baxter/Autodesk, on the road that goes to the Val de Ruz). The dump is open more or less during normal Swiss shop hours.

http://www.2000neu.ch/index0.php?id=735
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Old 25.08.2011, 20:01
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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My French isn't up to it, but this page should tell you what to do with your houshold waste in Neuchatel.

http://www.ne.ch/neat/site/jsp/rubri...leu&CatId=9779
I have posted a more specific link, but this is a good start :-)
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Old 25.08.2011, 20:07
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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How is that in any way whatsoever relevant to my comment? Let me try and twist it back to reality for you. Are you saying that if there were many families with children, you'd pick the obvious foreign one and just start shouting at them?
Er, no. That's not how I meant my comment to be interpreted.
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Old 25.08.2011, 20:14
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Re: Did I do something wrong?

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Three options.
1. Tell her to go and **** herself.
2. Tell her that it is not yours and that you are just trying to help sort it out. Can she perhaps help you understand how the local system works so that together you can find a good solution.
3. Let her throw it all around and then call the cops. When they arrive tell them perfectly truthfully that you don't know who's garbage it is but that crazy woman who screams at everybody all the time was shouting and throwing garbage all around. Perhaps they should talk to her. No, you don't know why she would call the police on herself but perhaps she is just trying to blame somebody else for the trash that she threw around. I mean you really don't know....it could actually be hers.
I believe option 4 is missing: stick a spud up her exhaust. It'll make you smile.
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