No one wants to fall out with their neighbors, especially as it can become very distressing for you and your family. There always needs to be a compromise and a healthy balance between rightfully enforcing your rights and beliefs in order for you both to live side by side in a friendly manner. When this is compromised then it can have a real impact on your home life and if this becomes the case, then action needs to be taken. Most disputes are not too serious and it is always best to first speak with them directly before the situation can get out of hand. One of the most common disputes is over overflowing garbage which can impact on both the environment and personal health.
If waste is allowed to build up over time, then it can cause many issues which become increasingly difficult to sort out. Air pollution is a common result of a build-up of rubbish due to the breakdown of materials at a microbiological level. This results in particles being released into the air which can cause infection, disease and even lung damage. Furthermore, the decomposition of these materials gives a perfect habitat for pathogens to develop. Diseases can be spread leading to the contamination of water and soils which is why garbage is linked to vomiting, cholera, and typhoid just to name a few. There are also a potential environmental dangers from piles of untreated waste materials, which can also poison water and food sources as well as affecting local wildlife.
The first step to solving this problem should always be communication, politely raising the issue with your neighbor. Discuss how the problem is affecting you both and always respect what they have to say. Finally, keep a record of all contact between you both.
If the problem then escalates, then mediation is a good option and alternative to legal action to resolve the dispute. Mediation can work for both parties. Essentially it gives you both the opportunity to talk on neutral ground in the presence of an expert in order to work out a solution before legal action is taken.
Finally, if you can’t work out a solution with your neighbor and you believe they are breaching public health or pollution laws, then you may need to get the local environmental health department involved or your local Department of Neighborhood Services and follow their complaints procedure, such as the one here for Milwaukee. They can then contact the neighbor directly in an attempt to solve the problem. If they fail to agree to the suggested course of action, they will be served a notice requiring them to deal with the problem and stop it altogether.