SF landlord hauled away our stuff without warning, where might it go?
June 19, 2013 11:38 AM   Subscribe

My landlord (I presume) hauled away some bike frames, tents, and genuine junk from a common area sometime in the night, assuming it wasn't stolen (mostly unlikely). We are in the heart of San Francisco and they live further south. Is it likely to have gone to SF Recology? Does it become city property once it does so? I am not going to drive down there, but I'm curious about the process in case it ever happens to something truly valuable.
posted by ziggly to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
 
Have you called the landlord and asked? That would be my first guess.

Otherwise some annoyed tenant may have lugged it to the curb for collection.

For future reference the fire marshall gets testy about junk in the common area, especially if it impedes the flow of traffic, is unsightly or can be construed as a fire hazard. You may have received no notice if the landlord was ordered to clean it up pronto or face a fine.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:41 AM on June 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, ask your landlord. Maybe the stuff is still in the back of his car. (One of my old landlords cleaned out the carport while I was out of the country but he was kind enough to bring my bike pump back.)
posted by mskyle at 12:12 PM on June 19, 2013


The metal (bike frames and tent poles) may have been sold for scrap.
posted by payoto at 12:22 PM on June 19, 2013


Our relations are a bit strained so I am afraid to ask. They've been doing lots of puttering, construction and general maintenance lately and some random things remain (the weathered plastic chair, mutilated table and random fire cone? They're still here, but the relatively sweet bike frames GOTTA GO?) Most of the stuff isn't mine, fortunately, but I am a little sore over the tent.

Has anyone ever called or visited Recology with success, or do blank stares/guffaws await me?
posted by ziggly at 1:00 PM on June 19, 2013


Yes, blank stares and guffaws await you, especially if the landlord dumped or sold them elsewhere.

What do you think, you're going to follow a garbage truck to the dump and then go through all that stuff? (I am so imagining a flat in the Haight right now.) Also, garbage trucks have compactors so it's possible your stuff got smushed.

Just let it go. Chalk it up to a lesson learned. You rent an apartment, not the area under the stairs.

You may as well toss the rest of the crap as long as you're there.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:17 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


(the weathered plastic chair, mutilated table and random fire cone? They're still here, but the relatively sweet bike frames GOTTA GO?)

This really strongly suggests that the more valuable stuff was sold or stolen, and thus is probably not at the dump.
posted by payoto at 1:28 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Recology has a (really fantastic) artist in residence program, and one of its benefits is first picking rights to drop-offs from individuals (i.e. not the contents of the garbage truck, but what folks remodeling, cleaning out a house, or otherwise taking stuff to the dump on their own drop off). All this really means in your case is that there IS a precedent for people who aren't garbage collectors digging through the drop-offs. I'd contact Recology to ask about that. If that doesn't work, you might be able to ask a current artist in residence if you could shadow them, though who knows if that's kosher.
posted by tapir-whorf at 1:28 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


My Bay Area experience is that if it is of any value at all, and it is not locked down, it will walk away(or even if it IS locked down). The fact that only things with scrap or possible resale/trade value, (bike frames, tents) went away implies that someone found an unlocked door last night and helped themselves.

My favorite was whoever kept stealing the damn hose nozzle (the hose itself was chained down)
posted by rockindata at 1:36 PM on June 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've taken a few truckloads of random stuff to the SF dump/Recology and it seems generally well-organized and the people working there were helpful and friendly (in comparison to a dump in Baltimore, which was just an area with some dumpsters and not much clarification about what to do.) I wasn't going there to pick through stuff or recover something, though.
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:33 PM on June 19, 2013


It sounds like a Craigslist Free ad clean-up. "Free stuff - bike frames, tents and misc junk. Don't disturb tenants. Located in common area at _ _ _ _ ". Unknowing scavengers dash in to grab what they can make use of. Ads can be placed by people with a grudge, a landlord or anyone. The ad is removed within hours of it's posting.
posted by X4ster at 2:50 PM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


The metal (bike frames and tent poles) may have been sold for scrap.

I would strongly bet this is what happened. I actually caught a guy taking exactly the same stuff that was taken from you(bike frame, etc) from the sideyard of my rental house one morning. They had a beat up pickup full of stuff like this that they were taking off to scrap somewhere.

They also took my broken fridge which was under a tarp.

Crack is whack, and whatnot.

but I'm curious about the process in case it ever happens to something truly valuable.

If it's anything like the transfer stations in seattle, the process is that you lay down on the floor, punch yourself in the side of the head, and cry. If it was taken to the dump you're boned. If it was taken by scrappers, you're boned.
posted by emptythought at 4:17 PM on June 19, 2013


So, yes, it turns out they're still in the landlord's car (though I've had plenty of experience with stuff walking away in SF with the crack-whackers, and now have peace of mind that we didn't experience a break-in.) Fascinating answers as always, though, thanks - never knew about Recology's Artist in Residence program.
posted by ziggly at 7:20 PM on June 19, 2013


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