My Own Bad Neighbor Story

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by RoseGarden, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    I lurk here all the time but seldom post, but I have read a few threads lately about problem neighbors and can't resist posting my own. In a way, it's funny but in a way, it's not.

    Preface this by saying that a year ago this month a law was passed in this county prohibiting the burning of household garbage PERIOD (food, plastics, and other kitchen type garbage) and restricting burning of brush, limbs, etc. to no closer than 300 ft. of a dwelling. Ok, my neighbor is a jerk, but his wife is a very nice young woman. They do not use a trash service, but spend lavishly on other things. They can't fork out $20/month for trash service which includes heavy trash on Saturdays, but he has two boats, a new motorcycle, etc etc. But can't come off with $20 for getting rid of their garbage. So, they burn it. Within about 70-75 ft. of my home. Guess what I get to smell on Fridays? Burning household garbage. Not always just brush, because I have seen firsthand that he puts the garbage (diapers, food wrappers and foam meat trays, cans, etc) in first and then lays pine needles, sticks, etc on top. And it smoulders. For hours. And hours. A lazily drifting cloud of choking chemical fumes. Drifting slowly over my house, as the prevailing breezes come from the southeast, which is where his burn pile is located. I frequently have to turn off my window a.c.'s because of this sickening stench. Remember Hurricane Rita this time last year? This nitwit was out the night after the hurricane passed through, burning the downed limbs, brush, etc. All wet, green wood, smouldering, a slow, lazily drifting cloud of... and no one for miles around had electricity, so in temps of over 100 degrees, everyone had their windows open. Guess what I got to breathe all night? That smouldering, slow, lazily drifting cloud.... Next day I asked him to not burn again. He just said 'ok, I won't burn'. A week later, he was burning again. Since then I have crept back to where his burn pile is a few times and using my waterhose, put his fire out. The fire dept. does nothing, despite the new law. They just say 'oh, it looks like a little brush and leaves to me', and when I ask 'but it's less than 300 ft. from my house' I just get a 'well, if he does it again, call us back'. I called them back, they came out and I got the same reply. I smarted off and asked why laws were passed if no one was willing to enforce them. Just got laughed off. All I can say is there will be hell to pay if this nitwit burns my house down or starts a grassfire on my land with his pyromania. :flame:
     
  2. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    Take some pictures of him dumping trash and burning it. Then present that to the sheriff and demand that it be stopped. If that doesn't work then go to a county commissioners meeting and have it on the public record. That seemed to work where I am (different topic, but same response).
     

  3. Highground

    Highground Well-Known Member

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    Wow.
    That guys lucky SOMETHING IN THAT BURN PILE DON'T BLOW UP and hurt him. :rolleyes: :shrug:
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not so sure I think you picked the right handle for yourself there..... ;)

    --->Paul
     
  5. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    Oh please dont call what this guy does pyromania :nono:
    Burning garbage doesnt qualify . if he's burning in a pile thats just plain unsafe
    We burn paper in a barrel (with lid and a fan ) burns super hot and fast .
     
  6. busybee870

    busybee870 Well-Known Member

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    i BURN ALL MY PAPER PRODUCTS IN THE BARREL AND EVERYTHING ELSE GOES IN BAGS FOR THE TRASH MAN, THE BIGGER THINGS WE HAUL OURSELF .
     
  7. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    Go to a higher authority then. Don't just stop there. Ask those folks in authority who shrug it off who their boss is and ask for that phone number. My neighbor is the mayor's brother and he constantly burns plastic and other toxic fumes. So, we call the local police and he gets a warning. The entire n'hood can smell his burning, smoldering crap but one one except us does anything about it.
     
  8. harrisjnet

    harrisjnet Okie with Attitude

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    Rosegarden, have you thought of contacting the newspapers. Get them to print your story and I bet your fire dept will start doing what they are supposed to do.
    Going to the papers got our road fixed when commissioners were playing good ol boys to their friends, but neglecting what was needed.
    Just telling the Fire dept that you are gonna get it in the newspapers might do the trick.
     
  9. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm im glad I dont have any close neighbors :p I burn my trash which is legal here but I dont have any expensive toys either. I might be able to afford trash pickup but I hate the thought of adding to land fills and that 60 dollars a month it costs here, well it adds up real quick and I would rather see it spent on fixing up the house. But if I had someone living right next to me (specially within 75 feet) I would have to reconsider but no one lives near me except 900 feet away and the wind usually blows the other direction.
     
  10. arctichomestead

    arctichomestead Well-Known Member

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    I would write a letter and sent it certified. Make copies and send it to the fire cheif, the poice chief and the mayor and let them know that copies were distributed and that you'd like something done. Be sure you tell them all the details also, sounds like they might not have heard everything and think your just a neighbor with too much time on your hands. Tell them, yes there is brush...but there is also garbage and plastics. It creastes a noxious smoke cloud that hangs around my home. Let them know exactly how many feet it is to your home and note the law against this. Tell them it is not only inconvienient and discusting but also against the law and a fire hazard to your home. That you want something done about it. I personally would want to threaten that if there ever is a fire because of this that you will take up a second job just to hire the best lawyer you can to sue them...BUT I'm not so sure this would be the way to get it done! I guess would leave out the suing part and be nice but firm. State the facts and keep copies and your cert letter recipts in case you do indeed need to sue them eventually. More than likely, when they see how serious you're taking it and hear all the facts and -more importantly- that every important person in town now knows and is involved --they'll probably do something about it.

    *I do also like that about the newspapers!! If this doesn't work, do that. Take out full page ads and run it every Sunday! Be careful how you state it though or you might need that lawyer again. Don't be nasty or state names, just facts and the fire department.
     
  11. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    Countrymama, we, too, burn out garbage on our acreage. Well, for the most of this summer, we have had a burn ban because of the drought - but I don't understand the problem.

    It bothers me that mounds of this stuff is being stuffed into the landfill. We do put aluminum cans in a recycle cart. Some organization around town is always using it to raise funds. Foodstuffs, except meats, are put in the compost. The meat scraps are put out for neighbor's dogs. We burn the rest in a barrel, with a lid.

    I do hope this doesn't offend anyone and truly would not want to do that.
     
  12. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    Offer to pay the lousy $20 bucks a month FOR him for 3 months if he'll stop burning and give the roadside pick-up a try.

    After 3 months, he should be used to the new arrangement.

    If he ain't and goes back to burning, that's when I'd call in the gestapo...

    Just an idea for a peaceful resolution...also, when ya call in the storm-troopers, he can't say you didn't try to get along with him...

    Just an idea...
     
  13. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    You know, I have thought about offering to pay the $20/month for them to have trash service, but why should I? He's a big boy. They both work, and apparently have a h*** of a lot more disposible income than I do. Seems to be a case of priorities... being that he simply doesn't give a flip. Someone in this thread mentioned that they burn and don't see why it might be a problem...well, it probably *wouldn't* be if it was the legally prescribed distance away from my home and it wasn't black, chemical-laden clouds of smoke drifting over my house. :rolleyes: I don't want toxic chemicals in my food, in my water or in my body, so why in God's name would I want to BREATHE them and have them go straight into my bloodstream?

    I too like the newspaper idea... that's a really good one, thank you to whomever suggested it. I will think on this, and sneak back there with my digital camera next time he burns. Thanks to everyone for their input and listening to me gripe. :)
     
  14. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    If it's truly 75 feet from your house, you shouldn't have to "sneak" too far!
     
  15. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

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    Rose I feel for you, but disagree with the passed law.

    Give em a inch and they will take a mile.

    They start passing laws like that and before you know it you'll need a air quality clearance permit $$$ before you can cook out in your back yard.
     
  16. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

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    Well the law is passed now you can not get satisfavtion from it. I burn my stuff and I have bad neighbors and good neighbors. Were I in your situation I would find who passed the law. Like who sponcered it. Call them and inlighten them to your helpless plight. If you keep calling the fire department and get no help it is because, for what ever reason, will have gained a rep you probably will not want. does he work for them? is it a city FD or rural? Here in the middle of the country we are in a sever drought and have been under a burn ban for the last two summers. All it would take is one spark and he would be buyig alot of cars , houses and properties Last year we lost the side of the mountain to a fire. While out fighting the flames Idiots were shooting the deer that were running out of the woods. Guess what happened there. Like people say on here SSS, only do not kill someone just thier ability to spoil your persuit of happiness. Good fortune to ya and for those this offeneds, It could be worse.
     
  17. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I feel for you I occasionally have to breath the trash from my neighbors but they live 3,000 feet or more away. Sad thing is they have more $ than I do and I manage to take my trash to the county recycling center. I will not report them because I would not want to start a fued or have them report my unchipped chickens/cow or sheep.
     
  18. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I were smelling burning trash like clockwork I'd retaliate when the wind was in their direction when HE was home. See how he likes it. He might find it not quite so much fun.

    He does it because he's cheap and it's convenient for him, so make put the price up for him. Let him smell it for a few weeks.

    Jennifer
     
  19. urbanfarmer

    urbanfarmer Well-Known Member

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    How much land does your neighbor have? Couldn't he move 300 feet away from you?

    Is this the first item you've ever complained about with this neighbor? In other words, what is your history with him? You called him a jerk, is that because of his burning trash or because of some earlier experience with him?
    Have you called the authorities on him before? How many times before?

    Funny questions? Well, yes, and because this one thing wasn't the beginning of him being a jerk, and his wife being a nice person.

    My advice is to continue talking to him. Tell him it makes you sick. Ask him to work with you so both of you end up ok with what is going on.
    It is always far far better to work things out with a neighbor between yourselves...but IF your neighbor won't talk nor change then you'll have to follow your conscience on what to do about it. The fact that the neighbors would call the authorities would cause bad feelings in my area.
     
  20. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

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    good post urban farmer . I agree.