Trash puzzle

If a fictional detective encountered this oddity, he’d pursue it and find a complex crime at the base. I doubt that there’s anything complex, but it doesn’t make sense.

Like most ‘environmentally conscious’ cities, we have a brown bin for regular trash and a blue bin for recyclables. My simple lifestyle doesn’t fill the bins often. I set the brown bin on the street every two weeks, and the blue bin only a few times per year.

Today is trash day for the neighborhood. I didn’t bother to take out either of the bins because they weren’t full enough.

When I went out for a walk, I noticed that my brown bin was out by the street, along with SOMEBODY ELSE’S blue bin. The brown bin contained the two bags I’d put in. SOMEBODY ELSE’S blue bin contained a couple of familiar boxes from my blue bin, on top of a big load of unfamiliar stuff. Stores I don’t buy from.

My blue bin is still next to the house, emptied.

What’s the purpose? A neighbor who hasn’t paid his trash bill is trying to get his recyclables picked up on my account? If so, why didn’t he just empty his blue bin into mine, instead of emptying mine into his and putting the obvious extra blue bin on the street?

None of the obvious explanations make sense.

I called the city’s info number and told them about the situation.  If there’s something illegal involved, I want them to know I’m not the sneaky one.  The call-taker was equally puzzled.

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Later: I heard the extra bin being rolled away by the neighbor to the west.  I didn’t get to a window fast enough to see it, but the location of the sound was clear enough.  As far as I can tell they’re a  prosperous and stable family.  They have enough money for new cars and frequent remodelings.    Well, now I know something new about them.

Alternatively, were they trying to do me a neighborly favor? Doesn’t make sense either. They know I’m not disabled or housebound. They see me walking every morning, and presumably they see my trash bin when I do put it out. A favor would simply put both of my bins on the street and wouldn’t transfer my stuff to his bin.

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