Dear Blake,

My husband, my newborn son, and myself live in the downstairs apartment of an old Victorian house that has been converted into three separate apartments. We try to be good neighbors and do our part keeping up with our neighborly duties. However, lately we’ve been finding ourselves the only ones doing our part. Every Sunday evening, we roll out the garbage, recycling, and compost bins for the Monday morning pickup. Currently, there is only one other tenant living here, a man who has been here for more than a year. Not once has he bothered to roll out these carts that he uses as well. How should we handle this without coming off as nagging or rude?

Signed, Franny
From Augusta, Maine

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Dear Francis,

It sounds to me like the other tenant is just plain old lazy. The solution is, you have to motivate that slacker into doing his fair share. Ok, here are some ideas. Leave the garbage, recycling and compost bins at the curb all week long, and then that worthless bum has to walk to it. Or, you can take his garbage out of all three containers out placing it next to his front door, and then allege you had to make them lighter because you have a hernia. You might even want to try this one. Refuse to push any of receptacles out for weeks. If they get full, just put your overflow bags of garbage in front of it. If your neighbor complains about it, suggest to your landlord to create a schedule, and anyone who violates it gets evicted. But if you want to keep the atmosphere friendly, simply ask him to start rolling the trash out every other week. If he refuses, once a day start rubbing your son’s dirty diapers across his windshield, especially using the ones when your little boy was feeling well. I assure you that buffoon who lives next to you, will quickly learn that you don’t take no “mess”. I hope this helps.