"One man's trash is another man's treasure." That is, unless it really is just garbage, then you should probably take care of it.

Once one neighbor does it, then everyone thinks they can do it... but can they really? I'm talking about that old basement couch you no longer want, your kid's beat-up bookshelf or even that grill you've had since college. Once it's outlived it's usefulness, seems it's next logical destination is to kick it to the curb... but is that even legal in Rochester?

When I called Rochester's Deputy City Attorney Dave Goslee about this, he gave me one quick answer: NO, it's not legal. According to city ordinance 73.02, you cannot place any items, landscaping or other foreign materials onto any city boulevard without a permit because your curb is owned by the city. That's like if you were to drop off those same items listed above right in front of City Hall - You can't do it.

However, if you've currently got something sitting at the edge of your driveway right now you don't have to worry too much. Mr. Goslee continued to say the city doesn't have people driving around looking for violators and policing this kind of stuff.

Turns out your neighbors do that for them because "someone has to call it in" for Rochester Public Works to come out to the residence and take a look at the issue and go from there.

Also, it doesn't matter if there's a "FREE" sign or not. Basically if someone were to complain about that mattress that's been sitting out in the rain for the past several days to a week on end, you'd best expect a visit from RPW because now you're just being lazy, and also cheap about not disposing of it yourself.

So the next time you think someone wants your old bowling trophies, you may want to reconsider just making a quick trip to Olmsted County Recycling Center Plus.

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