Garbage-Moving a garbage bag or garbage bin:
The moving of a garbage bag or a garbage bin on Shabbos enters into the question of whether it has the status of Muktzah, and if so, under which circumstances it is permitted to be moved under the rule of Geraf Shel Reiy, as will be explained.
*Regarding the law of moving individual pieces of garbage, such as leftover peels on the table, see Halacha 10.
Its Muktzah status: A typical [non-empty] garbage contains Muktzah items [i.e. broken Muktzah vessels, dirt, filth, diapers, bones, shells, pits, dirty disposable cutlery and plates] and is consequently therefore defined as Muktzah. Thus, it is forbidden to move this garbage can/bag on Shabbos in the regular way [unless one does so with a Shinuiy]. Nonetheless, a clean garbage can [that did not have anything Muktzah in it during Bein Hashmashos of Friday night], as well as a new garbage bag, is not Muktzah. Likewise, a garbage can or bag that does not contain any Muktzah items in it on Shabbos is not defined as Muktzah, even if it contains other garbage inside, so long as it did not have anything Muktzah in it during Bein Hashmashos of Friday night. However, a garbage can which contained Muktzah items in it during Bein Hashmashos of Friday night is considered a Basis, and is therefore Muktzah throughout the entire Shabbos, even if it is now clean.
Moving the garbage bag/bin out of the way: If a Muktzah garbage can/bag [as defined above] is standing in one’s way, one may not move the garbage out of the way in the normal way and is rather to use an irregularity, such as by kicking it with one’s feet out of the way.
Bringing the garbage bin close to the table: If one desires to bring the garbage bin to the table in order to discard the leftovers into it, then if the garbage bin is defined as Muktzah, then he may not move the garbage with his hands and is rather to move it using his feet. If, however, the garbage bin is not defined as Muktzah [as explain above], then it may be moved.
Removing house garbage: If the house garbage bin/bag is full, and there is no other designated area nearby for garbage to be placed [or it too is full], then it is permitted to remove the garbage even if it contains Muktzah items in it, and is defined as Muktzah, in order to free up the garbage bin for more garbage to be placed in it. When taking out the garbage bag from its bin, one is to immediately take it to its destination and not put it down in the interim. [In an area with an Eruv, one may remove it to outside, and in an area without an Eruv he may remove it to whichever area of his home or yard he designates to store the garbage bags until they’re thrown out.] However, if the garbage is not yet full then one may not remove it unless it is releasing a foul odor which is disturbing those present. Likewise, if the garbage is found in an area where people are not normally found [i.e. side of house], then it is forbidden to throw it out if it contains Muktzah items in it, unless people have now settled themselves there in the area. In the event that one has two house garbage bins next to each other, then one may not throw out the garbage, until both garbage bins are full, unless it is releasing a bad odor which is bothering those present, in which case one may throw out that garbage even if the other garbage is yet to be full.
Bringing the garbage bin back to the house: If the garbage bin is not Muktzah [i.e. did not contain Muktzah items in it during Bein Hashmashos of Friday night and hence did not become a basis, and is now emptied of all Muktzah content] then there is no issue with taking the garbage bin back into the home after discarding its content. If, however, the garbage bin is considered Muktzah [due to it having contained Muktzah items in it during Bein Hashmashos of Friday night and hence became a basis] then it is best to never take the actual garbage bin outside when discarding the garbage, and one should simply remove the garbage back from the garbage bin and discard the bag without moving the garbage bin. Nonetheless, in the event that one already did so and now desires to bring it back to the house, then if one never let go of the garbage bin, then it is permitted for one to return it to the house in all cases. Nonetheless, it is best for one to place water into the garbage bin before returning it, even if one never let go of it from when he removed it from the house. If, however, he already placed the Muktzah garbage bin down outside then it may not be returned to the house unless leaving the garbage bin outside can cause a monetary loss [i.e. it may get damaged or stolen], or one plans to continue using it for placing garbage that Shabbos. Whatever the case, whenever bringing the Muktzah garbage bin back one is to place drinkable water in the garbage bin prior to bringing it back.
Pressing down the garbage: One may not press down on the garbage using one’s hands if it contains Muktzah items inside. However, one may use one’s foot to press it down.
Opening the lid of the garbage using one’s hand: There is no issue with opening the lid of the garbage for the sake of discarding items into it. Likewise, one may close it for the sake of preventing a foul odor from escaping.
Opening the lid of the garbage using one’s foot: It is permitted for one to use his foot to step on the latch that opens the lid of the garbage bin.
Replacing the lid of the garbage bin: There is no Halachic issue of either Tikkun Keli or Ohel in replacing the lid of the garbage bin, to the garbage bin, so long as it is meant to easily come off, and is not entered into any hinges and the like.
Opening a garbage cabinet: Whenever the garbage bin itself, or its content is Muktzah, then one is to avoid opening its cabinet in the regular way for the sake of discarding garbage into it, if the bin is attached to the cabinet door. Rather, one is to open it with his elbow or foot. Accordingly, it is best to simply not use a garbage cabinet for the Shabbos garbage and designate a regular trash bin for Shabbos. Nonetheless, from the letter of the law, it is permitted to open the cabinet door for the sake of throwing it out after it is full, and those who are lenient to do so even for the sake of simply discarding garbage into it have upon whom to rely. If the garbage bin is not attached to the door of the cabinet, or if the garbage is not considered Muktzah, then there is no issue at all with opening the door of the cabinet.
Tying the garbage bag? It is forbidden to make a double knot on the garbage bag. Now, regarding making a bow on top of a knot: Some Poskim rule that doing so is forbidden while other Poskim rule that it is allowed to be done. Practically, one should simply make a single knot without a bow on top.
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:8; footnote 237; 41 footnote 350; 49; 309:3 footnote 41; See regarding Geraf Shel Reiy: Admur 308:72-76; Michaber 308:34-37; Gemara Beitza 36b; Shabbos 121b
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:8
 However, see Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:8 that it is defined as a Keli Shemilachto Leissur. Vetzaruch Iyun, as a garbage bin is designated also for discarding non-Muktzah items that one no longer desires.
 See regarding the law of Basis: Admur 279:4; 308:79; 309:4; 309:4, 7-8; 310:7, 11, 16; 310:18; 311:14; M”B 309:19; Ketzos Hashulchan 112:13; SSH”K 20:53 footnote 186
 This follows the same ruling as moving a garbage bin back into the house, which is under debate if allowed and in which we are initially stringent, as explained below, and hence in order to circumvent the debate one is to simply use his feet to move the garbage; See Shvus Yaakov 2:45; SSH”K 22 footnote 124; Piskeiy Teshuvos 308 41 footnote 350; Maor Hashabbos 4 letter 20 of Rav Fisher footnote 31
 See Admur 308:72 “If the garbage can is in an area that one is not particular to keep clean from it, but it is now full and it is thus impossible to place any more garbage there, then it is permitted to remove it [from the courtyard, empty its garbage and then] return it, in the way that will be explained [in the next Halacha].”; Beis Yosef; M”A 308:59; M”B 308:134; Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:49
 The reason: This is due to the allowance to move a Geraf Shel Reiy from an area where people are accustomed to settle and be repulsed from the item. This is allowed even though the item is Muktzah in order to give respect for people [that they should not need to be in the presence of repulsive items]. [Admur 308:72 “Any item that is repulsive, such as for example garbage and vomit and feces, whether of a human or of a chicken and the like, if they are found in ones courtyard that he lives in, meaning the courtyard that is in front of his house or on the side of his house which he uses to leave and enter from constantly, and is thus a place that people are particular to make sure to keep clean from dirty substances, then it is permitted to move them to the trash or to the bathroom, even with one’s actual hands without using any vessels [to help move it]. This concept is referred to in all places by the term “Graf Shel Reiy” “A bucket of garbage”. As well, if the repulsive item is in an alleyway by an area that people walk on, then it is permitted to move it to the side. However if the filthy item is in a different courtyard which one does not live in, or if it is in ones backyard, which are [both] areas that [people] are not particular about dirty substances being found inside of them unless one is sitting there, while at the times that one is not sitting there he is not particular about it even when entering and leaving the area, being that one does not regularly enter and leave from there, it is forbidden to remove the filth from there, unless one is actually sitting there [and has become repulsed by the filth].”; Michaber 308:34; M”A 308:58; M”B 308:131-132; M”A 308:58; M”B 308:131]
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:49
 It may be discarded, as in such a case it is no different than garbage which is overflowing that may be discarded. Now although when the trash is in its designated area it may not be thrown out, as explained above, nevertheless this is only if it is “meant to be there in its current state” [Admur ibid], otherwise, even if it is not overflowing it may be thrown out.
 See Admur 308:72 “However if the filthy item is in a different courtyard which one does not live in, or if it is in ones backyard, which are [both] areas that [people] are not particular about dirty substances being found inside of them unless one is sitting there, while at the times that one is not sitting there he is not particular about it even when entering and leaving the area, being that one does not regularly enter and leave from there, it is forbidden to remove the filth from there, unless one is actually sitting there [and has become repulsed by the filth].”; Michaber 308:34; M”A 308:58; M”B 308:133
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:49 footnote 418 that in today’s times garbage bins are usually not Muktzah as they are not dirty being that we use a garbage bag. However, he seemingly forgot to take into account the issue of Basis which can easily occur if there was Muktzah garbage in the bin during Bien Hashmashos of Shabbos.
 The reason: The action of returning a Muktzah garbage bin back to the house after discarding its content is complex and under debate as to when and how it is allowed, and is therefore best to be avoided. [See below]
 Admur 308:74 “All the above [restrictions in returning the vessel to the house] is only if one already removed it from his hand when he arrived to the dumpster. However, if it is still in his hand one is permitted to return it according to all opinions and in all situations, and even without [needing to] add water inside of it, as is the law with all Muktzah [items], that if they are already in one’s hands it is permitted for him to move it to wherever he wishes, as explained above.”; M”A 308:60; M”B 308:137
Other opinions: Some Poskim question whether one may return the potty without water even if it is still in one’s hands. [Elya Raba 308:76; P”M 308 A”A 60; brought in M”B 308:137]
 Admur 308:74 “[However] according to what it was explained there that it is proper to be stringent in this, so too here it is proper to place water into the vessel even though it is still in one’s hands.”; M”A 308:60; M”B 308:137
 See Admur 308:73 “A bucket of garbage, and a urine potty, even though they are permitted be moved to the trash area to be placed there, [nevertheless] it is forbidden to bring them back into ones house, because they are forbidden to be moved even when they are empty being that they are so repulsive that they are not even fit to be used to cover a vessel with, and Muktzah Machmas Mius was only permitted [to be moved] if it is fit to be used to cover a vessel.”; Michaber 308:35; M”A 308:61; M”B 308:136
 Admur 308:73 “There are those which permit one to return [the potty and garbage can] to the house in any situation, even if one does not need to use it [anymore] today to place filth inside or to remove feces with, as long as one places [drinkable] water into them. Practically, one is to be stringent like the first opinion, although in a case where there will be a monetary loss, such as if the garbage can is a little expensive, and there will thus be a loss if one were to leave it [outside by the public] dumpster as it will get stolen from there, then one may [be lenient and] rely on the second opinion.”; M”A 308:61; Elya Raba 308:77; M”B 308:138
 See Admur 308:73 “[However] if one needs to bring it back in order to reuse it again today to place filth in them, then one is permitted to return them by placing in them water which may be moved [is not Muktzah], meaning [one places enough water] that [it] is still drinkable for an animal even after being placed in the potty or garbage can.”; Michaber 308:35; M”A 308:61; M”B 308:136
 Admur 308:73
 See Maor Hashabbos 4 Michtav 25 of Rav Fisher; Piskeiy Teshuvos 308:8, and footnote 416
 The reason: As even if this latch were to be defined as Muktzah, it is permitted to move Muktzah with one’s foot.
 See regarding Ohel: Admur 315:19; M”A 315:21; Michaber 314:13; Shabbos 139b; Tosafus Beitza 32b; M”B 315:48 See regarding if the cover of the bin becomes a Basis if the bin itself became Muktzah by Bein Hashmashos: P”M 308 Hakdama M”Z; and M”Z 14 in name of Bach Liheter;; P”M 309 M”Z 1; Minchas Shabbos 88:22; Tehila Ledavid 310:7; Ketzos Hashulchan 112 footnote 20; Az Nidbaru 2:49; Piskeiy Teshuvos 309:3; SSH”K 20:59
 As the cover is designated and recognized for that purpose. This is unlike Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 18:14 which states one must initially be careful in this matter. This applies even if the can is very wide. This however only applies by the regular cover of the garbage can. If, however, one is using something else as a cover, which is not recognizably a garbage can cover such as a towel, then if the opening is as wide as a barrel one is not to cover it completely, or remove its covering completely.
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 309:3 footnote 41, Vetzaruch Iyun on several of the points that he makes there
 The reason: As when the garbage bin has become Muktzah by Bein Hashamshos, then the door of the cabinet itself has become a Basis for the Muktzah garbage bin, and it is a dispute whether one may move a Muktzah item for the sake of getting rid of a Geraf Shel Reiy.
 As according to the lenient opinion which permits moving the garbage bin for the sake of future discarding, here too it should be allowed. See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid who completely permits this.
 Admur 317:2; Rama 317:1; Shiltei Giborim 41b
 See Maharil Diskin Kuntrus Achron 5:35; Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 35 footnote 63, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 317 footnote 24
Opinion of Admur: It can be implied from Admur 651:6 [and Rashi Sukkah 33b] which considers the knot of a Lulav made to never be undone, even though after Sukkos it has no use, that throwing out is not considered like destroying. However, see Tzitz Eliezer 15:17 which explains that possibly one keeps a Lulav to inherit to his children. Vetzaruch Iyun.
 Minchas Yitzchak 8:27; Tzitz Eliezer 15:17; In Minchas Yitzchak 8:27 he brings that Rav SZ”A ruled to him that when the item is thrown out it is considered destroyed, and thus should be allowed, and is brought by Rav SZ”A himself in Tikkunim Umiluim of SSH”K.
Leave A Comment?
You must be logged in to post a comment.