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Can you 'reserve' a parking space with your trash cans?

Can you 'reserve' a parking space with your trash cans?
Some people think they can hold onto parking spaces by keeping trash bins in the street. Is there a law against that? (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Lenny says he has a neighbor who leaves his trash cans in the street outside his house every day to reserve his parking space.

"I know there are laws preventing his action," Lenny says, "but for the life of me, I can't seem to find even one."

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He notes: "I'm sure I'm not alone in this problem."

I'm sure he's not.

There's just something about cars that brings out the worst in people. Behind the wheel, many of us display thoughtlessness and aggression that we'd never show in other circumstances.

And parking, as we all know too well, can be a bloodsport.

So I'm not surprised that Lenny's neighbor thinks he can pull a fast one by sticking his garbage cans in a preferred space when he's not at home.

And, as Lenny correctly surmised, there are laws against this sort of thing.

In Los Angeles County, the law says that "no person shall place any solid waste, or any container containing solid waste, at any place of collection before 5:00 p.m. of the day preceding the scheduled collection of said solid waste, or leave any such container at the place of collection after 8:00 p.m. on the day of actual collection, or more than two hours after actual collection, whichever is later."

There it is. Cans out the night before, off the street by the next night. They can't remain by the curb on a daily basis.

What can you do? Illegally placed trash containers can be reported to the Department of Public Health by calling (888) 700-9995(888) 700-9995 or by filling out a form on its website.

If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

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