Is this against the law in UK?

March 31, 2013 11:28am CST
A neighbour of mine has put a laptop in rubbish bin and it is near the top. A friend of mine has seen it and is saying they may go back at night to take the laptop from the bin. Is there anything wrong with him doing that?
4 responses
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Mar 13
In the US, trash put outside is "public domain" which means anyone can take it. That is, if the trash bin is not on their private property. If it is on the street or even on the sidewalk, it is "free" for anyone. I would think it would be the same in the UK. Have you tried doing a search online for the answer? I LOVE being able to ask just about anything you could think of and getting an answer, usually more like dozens of answers.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
31 Mar 13
Oh, one more suggestion. Your friend can just go up and ask them if your friend can take it. If they really don't want it, they should have no problem saying yes and could probably tell your friend what is wrong with it.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
31 Mar 13
"In the US, trash put outside is "public domain" which means anyone can take it." I am sure it is the same here in the UK. If you are throwing something away, then you don't want it and therefore cannot complain that it has been stolen, can you? Mind you, I have a boomerang that I threw away a dozen times and I still have it here with me now...DO you want it? Here, catch!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
1 Apr 13
Well, I can't imagine anyone raising a fuss about their garbage being stolen but you never know how they feel about trespassers. Around here, they shoot 'em in the derriere. Now, about that boomerang, I tried to catch it on the way by but I'm sure it's back safe and sound with you again. Hmmm, maybe try offering it to a beaver? (It's made of wood, isn't it?) I read an article once when there was a garbage strike in New York City about a man who was desperate to get rid of his trash so he wrapped it up like he'd wrap gifts and left them on his front steps, went back inside like he had forgotten something and, sure enough, within minutes his garbage was gone. I doubt strongly the thieves brought it back once they realized what they had just stolen.
1 person likes this
@MoonGypsy (4613)
• United States
31 Mar 13
i don't know about laws in the uk, but over here if someone trows something in the trash, it means they don't want it anymore. as long as you don't have to go in their property to go get it, then it's your if you want it. i don't see anything wrong with it. i can't believe they threw a perfectly good laptop away.
31 Mar 13
well too be honest its closed so maybe its got a smashed screen or something wrong with it. My friend wants it cos he repairs laptops and needs one at the mo. so he is ok to take it?
@MoonGypsy (4613)
• United States
31 Mar 13
well, if he knows how to fix laptops, then it's still a good score. i wouldn't know what to do with a broken lap top.
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
31 Mar 13
I don't see why it would be illegal to take it from the rubbish bin. To me, and here in the U. S., the more likely thing that is illegal is the neighbor putting it in the rubbish bin rather than taking it to a recycle place. Electronics can contain many hazardous substances and should not be just thrown away.
@maximax8 (28570)
• United Kingdom
31 Mar 13
I think electric products must be taken to a rubbish center and given to staff. It is unsafe to put it in a rubbish bin outside a home. The laptop might have a broken screen. Your friend should ask your neighbor if he can have the laptop. He could explain he likes mending laptops. If person throws something in a rubbish bin he or she does not want it. Someone's rubbish can be Someone Else's treasure. Good luck to your friend. I don't think taking from a rubbish bin is illegal.