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Mystery Solved – The Source of the Strange Sound in My Neighborhood

Beeping Dumpster
Photo by Justin Louis

The mystery is solved!

Yesterday I told you about the odd, consistent, high pitched whine that was coming from my neighborhood dumpster. Last night, curiosity got the best of me.

After posting about the strange droning, a lot of you had guesses and ideas. While I’m not one to readily hop into a garbage bin, answers were needed.

When I got home however, I thought that the strange sound had gone away. But, as I got closer to the dumpster, I noticed that it had only gotten quieter.

So I did the obvious thing…

I grabbed a long pole and started digging around.

Thankfully, there wasn’t a lot of garbage in there, and it wasn’t too gross. Of course I made a point not to touch anything with my hands.

So what was the source of the mystery mechanical sound?

A broken smoke detector.

I would assume that the button was stuck on, the owner got frustrated, and threw it out. I didn’t actually pick it up, I just saw it sitting there (thankfully not too deeply among the trash). Obviously, the batteries were on their way to death between Monday night and last night since the beeping had gotten so much quieter.

But here’s the thing – why would you not take the batteries out before throwing it away?

The incessant beep filled the whole neighborhood for a good 18 hours at least from when I first noticed it on Monday night and into Tuesday morning. By Tuesday night, as I mentioned, it was still beeping, but much more quietly.

So there it is, thankfully nothing nefarious or alien, but certainly irritating and, let’s be honest, a bit inconsiderate.

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