When a Reddit user’s homeowner’s association told them composting was “illegal,” they weren’t sure what to do. But with the help of fellow Redditors, they may have found a solution.
In a popular Reddit thread, the user explained their feud with their restrictive HOA in Tennessee. For several years, the user says they have paid for a composting service that collects a small bin of compostable waste from customers’ homes once a week.
At first, the HOA seemed to tolerate the resident’s composting efforts and just asked them to move the bin pickup from the front to the back of the building. Then, the Redditor’s composting bin disappeared without a trace.
The Reddit user says they corresponded with their HOA’s president to see if they’d heard anything about the bin and asked if a community-wide email could be sent inquiring about the bin’s whereabouts. The president refused, saying that such emails are only used in cases of announcements or emergencies.
“Stolen property doesn’t constitute either of those, I guess,” the poster wrote. “But a day later we get a compliance letter saying that we had ‘garbage and refuse’ in the common element and that it was against community guidelines.”
The HOA originally told the poster that the bin wasn’t allowed to be stored in their carport, then later switched its compliance issue to “not allowing alterations and additions.”
But now the poster came up with a creative idea for working around these restrictive HOA policies: placing a new composting bin on the roof of their car, so it technically isn’t part of the community’s common space.
Users praised the hilarious fix and shared their own advice in the comments.
“I’d think since it’s on your car if they take it then [it’s] theft,” one user wrote. “I’d file a police report for the missing bin and let them deal with the cops for taking your property.”
“Put an [AirTag] on the next one,” another user recommended.
Unfortunately, this is far from the first case of HOA policies discouraging residents from living cleaner lifestyles. In 2022, an HOA prohibited another Reddit user from adding solar panels to their home.
Another example provides hope for the Redditor’s case, though: A Maryland couple fought an HOA rule that would have prohibited their rewilded lawn and helped create a new state law protecting greener living in the process.
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