City sues man for canceling trash service

A man who claims to have reduced his waste to nearly nothing out of concern for the environment now faces a lawsuit from San Carlos for canceling his garbage-collection service.

Eddie House, 53, says he was shocked when he was served with a lawsuit Sunday at his CedarStreet home.

The lawsuit, filed by San Carlos Deputy City Attorney Linda Noeske in San Mateo Superior Court on Jan. 22, seeks a permanent injunction forcing House to maintain garbage service. City officials are also seeking to recoup from House the costs of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims House broke the city’s municipal code requiring all residential, commercial and industrial properties to contract with Allied Waste for pickup at least once a week — a standard requirement in most cities, San Carlos Deputy City Manager Brian Moura said.

House says he stopped his service with Allied Waste about a year ago after realizing that his garbage cans were nearly always empty.

“It’s just me and my dog, so I don’t have a whole lot of garbage to begin with and I recycle everything,” he said.

House recycles paper, metal and plastics, regularly hauling them in his pickup truck to a recycling center and collecting the refund, he said. What little backyard waste he generates is ground into powder by his wood chipper and food scraps are either pulverized by his garbage disposal or eaten by his dog. House’s larger items are either sold or given to people on Craigslist, he said.

“I don’t understand a city ordinance that requires you to fill up a can. That’s downright foolishness,” he said.

Moura said House’s lack of garbage service was brought to the attention of city officials after neighbors complained that House was causing foul smells by burning his garbage.

House acknowledges that the fire department was called to his house several times, but says that each time he was simply burning firewood.

House has made ongoing complaints to city officials over the apartment building next door, which he claims was built too close to his home and generates litter and parking problems. He said he fears that being sued by the city is retribution for being a”sore thumb.”

Moura denied the city’s action was personal.

“We don’t go out looking for these things. When the city does take code enforcement action, it’s usually something that’s brought to our attention by neighbors,” he said.

tbarak@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College classes for English learners jeopardized by cutbacks

English learners and their supporters called for financial support from The City… Continue reading

Kiana Williams
Stanford’s Kiana Williams drafted by WNBA champion Seattle Storm

Kiana Williams is going from one championship team to another. A senior… Continue reading

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Syd Mandelbaum created the home run tracker, which revolutionized statistics in major league sports. (Courtesy photo)
Home run tracker, with roots at Candlestick Park, marks 30 years

When Giants first baseman Brandon Belt slugged a solo home run in… Continue reading

Most Read