View Full Version : What to do? opinions please!

08-24-2009, 05:35 AM
here is my dilemma i live in a country subdivision with about 2 acre lots for the most part. great place except my neighbor whos house is close to my property line is burning garbage (illegal) and when windows are open goes right in my house and makes us sick. do i go talk to him (dont know him) or just call dnr or town board. i dont want him to know its me but im sure im the logical one if he thinks about it. i just dont want a neighborhood war or him to say do something to my dog if he gets mad. if that would happen id be in jail... not scared to confront him just want to be decent with this problem and hopefully take care of it. he plainly has 2 burning barrels that drift to my house through a small patch of woods. thanks for input guys.

08-24-2009, 06:34 AM
First I would just kindly ask. Maybe he can move it to the back of his lot.

08-24-2009, 09:37 AM
Yup, very nicely tell him that his burning in making you guys sick and was wondering if you he could move the barrels to a different location. If he does and that location doesn't work, very nicely ask him that didn't work either and that maybe if he wouldn't do that, it would be greatly appreciated. If he doesn't stop, light em up...I mean call the coppers to take care of the problem.

08-24-2009, 09:41 AM
If that doesn't work, then start cleaning your assault weapons out in the open. Maybe he will think your a crazy looney and just might listen to you.

But I suppose you could call police, but make sure all you duckies are in line and you have nothing wrong with your property.

08-24-2009, 09:44 AM
My sister has a neighbor that does the same thing, only he burns boats, carpet, garbage, you name it. She's made her point, and it hasn't worked. She also does not want to call, but feels as if she has no other option the next time it happens.

08-24-2009, 10:29 AM
OK, speaking as a former Village President in a "country village", first, contact the Town Clerk to clearly understand the ordinance that prohibits burning. You need to be sure that the activity is clearly prohibited by an ordinance, then you need to understand if it is a Town ordinance or a county ordinance, as this will determine who is responsible for enforcement. Also, find out if your town or county has a nuisance ordinance.

If it is a Town ordinance, the Town Chairman and the Town police or constable, if you have any, are responsible for enforcement. If it is a County ordinance then the Sheriff is responsible for enforcement. The sheriff cannot enforce a Town ordinance.

Town ordinance- Call your Town Chairman and explain the situation, cite the ordinances, and ask him how he would like to proceed. Be nice, don't complain, just explain the situation and ask him what the next steps are, and that you would like this resolved in 30 days. Follow up with a congenial e-mail summarizing your discussion and thanking him for his help. If there is no action after 30 days (1 Town meeting cycle) file a written complaint to Town Chairman and Town Clerk, after 60 days have the next letter written by a lawyer.
If it is a county ordinance, get a copy of it and go to the Sheriff's office in person. Talk to the deputy on duty at the desk, explain the ordinance, and ask him what next steps are. Be polite, get his contact info and get the Sheriff's business card. Follow up with a nice e-mail summarizing and thanking the deputy for his/her help, copy the Sheriff and your county Supervisor on the e-mail. If no activity after 30 days, send a letter to the Sheriff and your County Supervisor directly. If no resolution after 60 days have a lawyer write the letter.

This all assumes the activity is illegal, which is why the "move the burning barrel" solution will not work. If it is illegal then he must cease and desist the illegal activity, and if he does not then he must face the penalties associate with it.
If there is no specific ordinance prohibiting this activity then the nuisance ordinance can be used to require a different solution, which may include moving the barrel or ceasing the activity.

As to talking to the neighbor, I would look at it this way. If the activity is illegal then don't confront him. It is no different than any other illegal activity and the enforcement body should get it stopped. If it is a nuisance activity then you are asking for a compromise and that could be discussed with him in person.

Just my humble opinion, and no I am not a lawyer and all other disclaimers are inserted here.<font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font>

08-24-2009, 10:44 AM
wow dscnomo I had to stop reading halfway thru your post, dang bureaucracy...

redrev: There is a good chance your neighbor isn&#39;t even aware that his burning is creating a problem, especially if there is a woods between you. Simply explain to him what the problem is and suggest he either burn on days the wind is blowing in the other direction or offer to help him move the barrels to another location, no need to start WWIII over this small issue.

08-24-2009, 11:54 AM
Ok listen up, Heres, what you do, Go to the store and get a 12 pack of beer, &#40;probably domestic beer seeing as how you said you live in the country&#41; Then you go over and introdouce yourself to your neighbor. I would wait for a warm saturday afternoon when you can catch him workin out in the yard. Make sure the beer is ice cold, and proceed to offer said neighbor a beer, also it its perfectly acceptable for you to have one also. Now begin with idle chit chat I.E weather, sports and so on.

Now during the first beer The topics to be avoided should be politics, religion, the burning garbage situation and brett farve. As you move on the second through 4th beers together&#40;still standing in his front yard&#41; you can begin to up the conversation to more serious topics like cars,trucks,sleds and how obama is ruining this country and things of that nature. However you are still not ready to bring up the burning thing or farve yet. Just go slow. Now as you each crack your 5th beer together which if you live in WI should still be quite cold even though it has not been in a cooler this whole time. It is acceptable to move the convo to his or your patio/deck.

Now last beer, &#40;pay attention this is crucial&#41;
Invite him and his wife over for a BBQ on sunday afternoon, whether he accepts or not doesnt matter. Just make the offer. Now its ok to wrap up the conversation and agree to disagree about farve. As he is stumbling back to his yard just casually mention if before he burns if he could check the wind as it somtimes blows into your house. He will most likly turn around and yell back &#34;hey, not a problem&#34;
Case closed.

Now this used to be they way neighbors in america solved problems.

Your other option is to close all your shades, and call your attorney, the village, dnr, town cop, and sheriff on him. And then just pretend it wasnt you who called on him and live next to him and ignore each other the rest of your life.

08-24-2009, 12:00 PM
Clearly, if this smoke is bothering YOU, then it will bother other neighbors too. So moving the barrel is just changing who gets bothered most.

There is a chance the guy doesn&#39;t realize that he is being a nuisance, and that is when you go to him and explain that what he is doing is bothering all the surrounding neighbors and YOU were elected as representative of those to talk to him. Go with another neighbor who also feels the way you do, and that takes the heat off of YOU. Take a beer over and let him know that he must stop or face unhappy neighbors, and eventually the law.

Not sure why people don&#39;t consider everyone within their &#34;burning smoke path&#34; but clearly some people were dumped on their heads as babies and they aren&#39;t working with a full deck.

If that doesn&#39;t work, then go with NOMO&#39;s advice and force the idiot to comply.

08-24-2009, 12:11 PM
Ols, thats very diplomatic. I like that much better. But if he did keep moving it around, and got more attention, he could get more beer.

08-24-2009, 12:14 PM
Or the third option is he could get the whole neighborhood to gang up on the guy with large lawsuit and maybe he would just move? &#40;sarcasm&#41;

08-24-2009, 12:18 PM
Why don&#39;t we just get the whole neighborhood to march over with pitchforks and demand he stop.

While olsmann was sacastic, he is right. Why is everyone afraid to talk to neighbors now a days. When did we all become afraid to come out of our homes and talk to people? Treat him like an adult and he will do the same.

If he does not then you can take some of the actions others are suggesting.

08-24-2009, 12:37 PM
I do like the pitchfork thing..It sounds like fun.

08-24-2009, 01:37 PM
Ok, so my response was a bit bureaucratic...guilty as charged!
But here&#39;s the deal- reread the posts, and I think you are missing one important detail, and that is, is the activity illegal? If the neighbor is engaging in illegal activity chances are he knows it is illegal, he is already a butthead for doing it, and his disregard for the law will most likely result in a less than pleasant confrontation if you go to talk to him. He is already a gold plated you-know-what who doesn&#39;t care about the law and certainly doesn&#39;t care about you. Therefore, if it is illegal, have the proper enforcement agency resolve the problem.

That is different than a nuisance, which can be resolved through discussion between parties. Let&#39;s say I am your neighbor and I fix snowmobiles in my garage and I do so until 10:00 at night, which is noisy and it bothers you because you need to get up at 4:00AM to go to work. My activity is not illegal. I am doing nothing wrong. But, I am bothering you because of your schedule, and that is something we should resolve over beer as neighbors.

If burning garbage is illegal in the municipality it needs to be stopped by the Town Chairman.

08-24-2009, 02:47 PM
Maybe a subtle hint will help.

Pay the other neighbors kids twenty bucks to &#34;remove&#34; the barrels in the middle of the night.

Problem solved.


08-24-2009, 03:27 PM
When hes over at your house for bbq and beer have your kids dump a couple gallons of diesel drain oil,some busted up pieces of stryofoam,some old shingles, a lb.of magnesium and a trailer tire to hold it down and dump some of his ashes back on top of it.somebody will report it!!

08-24-2009, 04:37 PM
I like Ubee&#39;s idea. Our neighbor burned everything. He wasn&#39;t the sharpest tool in the shed and was his own worst enemy. He tried to burn some paint cans along with his garbage. He then spent several hours trying to explain how garbage &#34;could&#34; have blown that burn barrel into the neighbors garden and set the side of his garage on fire. Niether the police nor fire department believed him. There is no reason that the city police can not be called for an &#34;unusual&#34; smell in the neighborhood. I was actually called on when I drained rain water out of a barrel that had grass clippings in the bottom. It did smell bad and when the police and fire came they did not believe it until they stuck there nose in the can to check. The grass clippings were probably a couple days away from being 100proof. Good luck

08-24-2009, 05:26 PM
wow thanks guys. lol well i know this is illegal activity you can only burn yard waste. i have talked to a family memeber of mine on sheriff dept. and he confirms this. i just dont want to piss the guy off. the problem is that im usually the only one i think who gets smoked. the burn barrel is prob 50 yards from our bedroom. im still debating calling the township or talking to him. another thing is the town dump is only like a mile or two down the road where most normal people go.

08-25-2009, 07:59 AM
Talk to him. If you get a poor response, call Ubee! Don&#39;t play the legal issue rather the good nieghbor. If you get a poor response then do it by the law.

08-25-2009, 08:51 AM
This fella seems like a real azz hole to be burning garbage in you&#39;re subdivision, so load the camera with pics of him
burning then go over to his house and let him know that
he is a azzz hole.

-the nice guy approach will not go anywhere with this

08-25-2009, 09:05 AM
I burn my garbage in my campfire at home. Thats how I recycle and spend some campfire time with my family. Burn, baby, burn.

08-25-2009, 09:08 AM
Set up a hog confinement and tell him it&#39;s your kids 4-H project.

08-25-2009, 09:14 AM
Dont people just talk to thier neighbors anymore? Give him the benefit of the doubt GEEZ !! go meet your neighbor, he could turn out to be a nice guy! if not then you can run him out of town. You guys are all acting like burning garbage is grounds for a hanging! Just remember when and if you call the FBI on this guy, what goes around comes around. I hope you never do anything in the neighborhood that might be alittle illegal.

08-25-2009, 09:28 AM
Well said OLS.

Ya know, he might even give out good garbage burning tips. He also probably saves 200 bucks a year by not filling the landfills..

08-25-2009, 10:41 AM
it is illegal to burn garbage in wisconsinhttp://www.dnr.state.wi.us/forestry/fire/dbbb.htm

08-25-2009, 03:52 PM
Just ask him to burn when the wind is going the other direction, and close your windows when he burns. Simple as that.
I&#39;d also suggest you take a look at your diet, maybe eat better and suppliment it with some vitamins and minerals. Your immune system needs some help if you get sick that easy.
The last thing you should do is call the authorities. We need to get the govt. out of our lives. Half the reason they have been so successful at adding laws and removing freedoms etc...is that people have somehow lost the ability or not taken the responsibility of communicating with each other.
Of course it is illegal to burn garbage, follow the $.
Another suggestion. I saw this one time with a big fuel oil tank with a door and a smokestack, it worked well and would probably help in your situation even with the barrel: cut off the bottom of the barrel, put a grate in its place, build a stand for it or set it up on 3 cinder blocks. It will burn cleaner and the smoke will no longer just spill out the top. I&#39;m sure if you spend an hour and build that <font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font> be happy to use it.

08-25-2009, 03:53 PM
red dots, I forgot the apostrophy. <font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font>

08-25-2009, 03:54 PM
Just go talk to him and tell us what happedned already.

08-25-2009, 04:38 PM
Hey Redrev - I am your neighbor. Quit lollygaggin and come talk to me. I&#39;ll let you see my 10 gauge while you&#39;re here.

On a serious note, resolve conflict directly and go talk to your neighbor.

08-26-2009, 05:29 AM
brooks are you serious weak immune system because a wet smoldering barrel of garbage makes us sick? i work construction and smell a lot of worse <font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font><font color="ff0000">•</font> than that. why should anyone have to smell that when they come home from a day of work when your house is supposed to be a place to relax and wind down from a day of work. and gost if all you got is a shot gun good luck..lol im not sure what i am gna do yet..been spending a lot of time at hosp. due to family illness.

08-26-2009, 08:51 AM
I agree it would not be pleasant to be down wind of that. As many times as I have been the line of smoke, I can honestly say I&#39;ve never even felt nautious from it, much less sick. I am curious though, what do you normally get from it? Flu? a cold? worse? How many days of work do you normally miss because of being sick from it?

Another fun thing that you do if he doesn&#39;t respect your request after you talk to him. Devise/engineer your own ultimate smoke system, wait till the wind is blowing toward his house, and see if you can turn it black. Or even simply fill a big barrel with some compost, put a lid on it, and every time the wind is going his way take the lid off.
Lots of things you can do to have fun with it rather than acting like a young child and telling on him.

08-26-2009, 09:15 AM
either chat with him, or call the local fire dept. they should have a list of materials that are legal to burn and the ordinance printed out, ask the chief to drop by and talk to the guy, if it continues call the F.D. everytime, they will come put it out and probably start giving him a bill if it becomes regular.

08-26-2009, 09:17 AM
redrev, You have the chance to go talk to this neighbor, thats a good thing, I live in the country and I had the neighboring farmer put a hog complex of 2200 hogs a 1/4 mile directly behind my house, I had no choice bet to except it because everything he did was legal. Yes it gets very bad at times, it even made my house of less value, He really impressed me. Toddspolaris

10-01-2009, 11:40 AM
Well? What happened? Its time for a update.

The problem with burning garbage is the garbage smolders in there for hours, yuck.

&#42;I had the exact situation by me. I didn&#39;t say anything till one day my dog fence was down and I tied him up to keep him in the yard. Well he barked his displeasure. The neighbor came over and complained about the noise and requested he be put in the house! I said he should close his windows just like i do when he illegally burns his garbage and stinks up my house for hours. He went from burning 3 times a week to maybe once a month.
&#42; This is a nice summary of what actually took place.

10-01-2009, 04:05 PM
Wait till the wind changes direction and toss a full huggies on your bonfire!!

10-01-2009, 05:07 PM
find out what really annoys him and start doing that.then you will have barganing power

10-01-2009, 08:17 PM
go to his house late at night and poop on his step, maybe right in front of the door so he steps in it when he goes out for the morning paper.

10-06-2009, 10:59 AM
Just call the fire dept. they have to put out any problem fire and let the chief explain the law