Out of all the restrictive covenants that we help our communities enforce, it seems one stands out amongst them as the most bothersome to homeowners.  It is a shared feeling amongst many homeowners that this specific type of violation is petty and unimportant.  Many don’t understand why trash cans “cannot be in public view”.  This means that trash bins must be completely hidden from the view from the street.  Some communities of course have different rules or regulations, but most have some form or variation of this rule.

In order to comply with this type of regulation, many homeowners place their trash cans in their garage area or behind their back yard fence gate.  This way they are completely hidden and out of the way.

Believe it or not, there are several good reasons for having these kinds of restrictions.  Below are the reasons that developers and lawyers involved in the initial community setup include trash and recycle bin restrictions.

  • Aesthetics – No one really likes looking at trash cans up and down a street.
    • Let’s face it. Trash and recycle cans are not the most attractive things in the world.  We are trying to achieve a very specific, clean, attractive look and get away from the look of a downtown city street.
  • Animal control – Keeping your trash bins out can be an invitation for some unwanted guests.
    • Hearing noises outside, I woke up at 3am on trash day this week to find a cat trying to get in my neighbor’s trash can! No one enjoys when the neighbor’s pets and other wild animals make a mess when rummaging for food in the trash, not to mention that the homeowner will ultimately have to clean up the overturned trash that has blown all over their yard.
  • Identity theft – Your trash can be a target for new age thieves
    • Identity theft has been a reality for millions of Americans and the number of reported cases continues to be on the rise.  Thieves have been known to rummage through the trash of homeowners searching for anything they can use to their advantage.  They are typically looking for credit card offers, bank statements, social security information, and anything they can use to gain access to your personal credit.  Many people would like to think they don’t just throw this kind of information away, but you’d be surprised how careless people can be at times.  If a thief cannot spot your trash, they have nothing to rummage through.

Although homeowners may get frustrated at times with their HOA community’s rules and regulations, please know they are in place for the greater good, and restrictions concerning HOA trash can and recycle receptacles are no different.  They are in place to help protect the community and its homeowners’ goal of having a well-rounded, safe, clean community that maintains its property values.


VIII. L. Trash. Except for the reasonably necessary activities of the Developer during the original development of the Property, no burning or storage of trash, garbage or other refuse of any kind shall be permitted on the Property. All trash shall be deposited in a covered sanitary containers. All houses built in the Association shall be equipped with a garbage disposal unit. Any receptacle for ashes, trash, rubbish or garbage shall be so placed and kept as not to be visible from any street within the Development at any time, except at the times when refuse collection are being made.