Trash Collection Risks

My neighborhood was just notified of a change in our trash collection schedule; the collection day changed from Monday to Tuesday. This should be a very good piece of news to identity thieves in my neighborhood.

You may be asking yourselves, why would identity thieves even care about this? Although the change in our trash collection day is public knowledge, the identity thieves who might be going through the trashcans in our neighborhood should thank me and be happy for informing them of this change in case they were wondering what happened to the trash last Monday. I save them a lot of time by giving them this information, in case they did not know, so that they can either take next Monday off or hit some other neighborhoods where there is plenty of trash for stealing people’s identity components from.

The change in the trash collection schedule from Monday to Tuesday is good news to identity thieves because people, whose trashcans were placed outside on Monday night to be picked up on Tuesday morning, are at work when trash is picked up. Here’s my question to my readers, which day of the week happens to be more often a holiday, a vacation day or a sick day, Monday or Tuesday? My guess is and I think most would agree with me that other than Friday, Monday is the day of the week, when people skip work the most due to either a holiday, vacation or sick day. Although I’m not suggesting that people stay home instead of traveling when they don’t work but chances are that more people would be in their homes on Mondays than Tuesdays.

Having this information and if god forbids you provide food and shelter to your family by stealing other people’s identity, would you rather have people in their homes when you search through their trash or not? If not, then you want people to place their trash outside for pickup when they’re not home, which is why, a trash collection day of Tuesday is better than Monday.

What should my neighbors and I do now? Should we plan to get sick on Tuesdays? I wouldn’t bet on it. We should not plan our lives based on what identity thieves plan to do with their lives. However, we should be more careful when we’re not home. Here are a few things I do to protect my trash:

1. always put the trash out at the last possible minute for pickup. This will give the thieves less time to go through the unattended and unsecured trash before they are taken away.

2- don’t place important papers like credit card statements with other paper trash for recycling purposes as this is expected and helps facilitate the stealing of your personal information, unless you shred them well. Even when I shred documents, I still place important documents in a trash bag where I dispose other things like rotten tomatoes and a tuna can. I want thieves to suffer from bad odor as they go through my trash. Plus, a piece of paper mixed with rotten stuff, will be less useful even if they are stolen.

3- secure trash bins at all times before and until they are placed for pickup and collected.

I would like to close this article by asking some thought provoking questions: Do you trust the person that regularly collects your trashcans? How do you know he doesn’t go through your trash later? How do you know he doesn’t sell any of your information? Does he know about you and your family more than you think he does?

These are some risks that we have less of a control over or maybe even no control over so we shouldn’t worry about them too much. I hope that the city does extensive background checks on their trash collectors and only hire highly ethical people. Although a friend of mine suggests hope is not a strategy, trash collection is a service I can’t personally outsource and can only hope that the city collects and disposes of our trash with all due care.

Be identity safe.

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