Think about what you trash. Cat litter improperly disposed of is a pet peeve, says Terrance Flynn, a New York City sanitation worker. "People put it in a bag hidden inside another bag," so unsuspecting workers don't see it, says Flynn. The blade that scoops up trash often breaks the bags, spraying the litter everywhere.
Don't overload containers. Americans create an average of 4.6 pounds of garbage per person a day, and some routes cover up to 1,000 homes. Heavy cans and bins can cause muscle sprains.
Never mix recyclables and trash. This can be illegal, plus "it's a nuisance, and it costs the city money," says Flynn.
Watch where you put the bins. Don't leave them where dogs might think they're trees or fire hydrants (blocking hydrants is a safety hazard, too).