One Redditor received an unexpected citation after their homeowners association abruptly prohibited visible garbage cans beyond just a few hours on garbage day, despite a local city code allowing it if “you have a bear-proof container to cut down on the delinquent bears.”
“This is a bear area and bears come to visit occasionally around 11pm-3am,” the Redditor shared in the anti-HOA subreddit. However, they said that “the garbage companies [in the area] don’t provide bear-proof containers and refuse to pick up if you don’t use their provided cans.”
Bear-proof containers are a smart solution for homeowners and renters. By securing waste, these containers help protect wildlife, especially bears, from ingesting harmful substances found in human trash. Wildlife that consumes human food waste may suffer from health issues, and it can disrupt their natural behaviors — even leading to euthanization.
“And unless I read it wrong, it looks like the HOA is in Minnesota and the neighborhood is in Colorado (only a small part of the address was showing in the email). How does this make sense?” the Redditor added, noting that “the only mention of garbage [by the HOA] was that it could only be put out on garbage day or the night before.”
“I have no idea what day or even time of day they came by to exercise their little power trip,” the OP continued, pointing out that it may not have even been their trash can they received the fine for.
While it appears the policies of the garbage company are also playing a role in this frustrating scenario, this post spotlights a national trend of HOAs limiting residents’ abilities to take personal responsibility for their environmental impacts, such as by adding rooftop solar panels or installing native plant lawns.
Thankfully, climate-conscious homeowners and renters can create paths forward.
If your HOA is standing in the way of your eco-friendly lifestyle, band together with like-minded residents to research bylaws and draft amendment proposals for boards. You can frame desired changes around shared values like resource conservation for long-term community health.
If boards refuse reasonable requests, seek legal counsel to explore options. Creating positive change relies on cooperation, not confrontation.
Another critical step is reviewing your rental contract. If you directly agreed to comply with all HOA rules, you may need to pay fines while working to update unfair policies. But fuzzy language likely means fuzzy enforcement ability, too.
“If the rule in question is on the relevant documents and it was previously posted/provided to you, pay the fine and don’t do it again,” one Redditor advised. “My bet? You were not provided a copy, and that rule is not openly available for you to find.”
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