MoneyConsumerDon't Waste Your Money


Cincinnati man gets $150 fine for putting couch out with trash

Cincinnati now enforcing little-known littering ordinance
Posted at 11:00 AM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 15:44:04-04

CINCINNATI — You know the routine: trash day is coming, and you decide to put out a couple of heavy items the day before.

But in the City of Cincinnati, along with a growing number of communities, you could be hit with a big fine for doing that.

Dennis Day wanted to get rid of an old loveseat at his Hartwell home.

But he wanted to offer struggling families a chance to take it before the garbage truck showed up.

"Why not help somebody?" Day said. "Why not give someone a chance to have something they can't have otherwise?"

So he put it out 24 hours before trash pickup.

Bad idea.

A couple of hours later, he says "a city employee stopped by and stuck a note right there on the porch."

Along with it was a citation and fine for $150.

"It says this is not a warning, but a real ticket. It says you cannot leave personal property abandoned on streets and sidewalks," he said.

Little-known law prohibits couch dumping

It turns out that many homeowners don't realize this, but a growing number of communities have specific rules about when you can put your trash out, and what items are allowed and not allowed to be placed down by the street.

So we contacted Cincinnati City Hall.

A Public Service Department spokeswoman told us that furniture, carpeting, toilets and large TVs, among other large pieces, are classified as"bulk items."

In the City of Cincinnati, you need to call in advance for pickup, and schedule them, as bulk items often require a different truck than the one that picks up cans.

Even then, they are not to be placed on the curb before 5 p.m.

The city says the 5 p.m. time requirement is to reduce a serious litter problem, where old mattresses and tires are tossed out randomly.

Day, however, says he just wanted to help out a lower-income family, giving local residents a full day to drive by and see the couch.

"It's petty. The city has a huge drug problem, and people speeding on our streets, and their big concern is a couch on the sidewalk," Day said.

Day plans to contest the fine through the city's appeal process.

But wherever you live, check your local rules for large-item pickup, so you don't waste your money.

Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").


Like" John Matarese Money on Facebook

Follow John on Instagram @johnmataresemoney

Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)

For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to


Don't Waste Your Money

Have a problem?
Send me an email, at or message me on Facebook.