Neighbours are great most of the time - from having someone next door to take in your parcels if you’re not home, or having someone to keep on top of that pesky shared garden bush that keeps on growing.

But sometimes, they can be a bit of a nuisance when it comes to the likes of loud noises or even using your bins.

It can be a nightmare if your bins are being used by someone else, as their waste takes up space for your rubbish, meaning you must then find somewhere else for it to go.

However, if you have found yourself in this situation, you might be wondering if neighbours can actually use your bin or if it’s illegal and what you can do about it. Let’s find out.

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Is it illegal to use your neighbour's bin?

“The letter of the law says that it is a form of anti-social behaviour and technically illegal, as it’s classed as fly-tipping,” explains skip hire company Colson Transport.

“It is referred to in the waste industry as ‘bin stuffing’ and while many might think it’s harmless and are unaware that it’s a crime, it can be a nuisance to the neighbour in question.”

The waste experts added: “If you adding an extra bag means that it spills over the top and the lid won’t close, the local council might refuse to empty their bin on collection day. Or, if your waste hasn’t been separated correctly such as with recyclables in the right bins, it may get refused on these grounds too.

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“Despite being a form of anti-social behaviour and technically illegal, it is the type of neighbour complaint that should be rectified by dialogue between two mature parties. If you’ve been a victim of this, it’s far better to amicably sort out the matter between you than involve the authorities, which might get you or your neighbour a warning or a fine.”

If you’re wondering how to responsibly communicate to a neighbour who is using your bin, Colson Transport advises: “Remind them that as a neighbourly citizen the right thing to do is to dispose of your own waste yourself, even if this requires an extra trip to the tip, or using the services of a local waste removal company.

“Discussing this with your neighbour could ward off any further action, and could create a solution everybody is happy with.”