Would it be against the law to take recyclable cans from the yard and driveway of a deceased person’s home?

A man in community passed away approximately 3 months ago and there has been nobody

at his residence to clean up the place or remove his personal items. There are several bags of recyclable cans outside in the yard and driveway. A few of the bags are now coming apart and cans are blowing around yard and driveway. Most are still intact. Would it be against the law of I were to collect those cans and bottles and returned them to the recycling center?

Asked on June 24, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the bags, etc. on his property, technically you will be trespassing and stealing--they are still his (or in this case, his estate's)--though it's not clear if anyone will notice or care, or who would take action if they did notice or care. If the bags, etc. were by the curb, at that time, anyone could take them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.