The citizens were naturally alarmed when they saw strange teenagers dressed in hooded parkas climb out of dark vans and sneakily proceed to start going through their trash.
It turned out that they were hired by local officials looking for yet more control over people's lives. More Big Brother Government dealt out by small government snoops.
I've pointed out on other occasions the zealousness of penalty-happy town councils in Great Britain whose heads are (literally) in their neighbors' trash bins. But things just keep getting worse.
One woman spoke to Daily Mail reporters as being "very uncomfortable" with the action. "Three young men parked outside my house and just started going through my bins - I thought they were pinching my rubbish. It was very suspicious.We haven't had a leaflet or a letter, all my neighbours were going round asking each other what was happening."
Another citizen complained, "The people doing this didn't even look official, they were just teenage-looking lads in hoodies. It's such an underhand "Big Brother" thing to do, spying on local people like this. It's alarming."
"How is this information going to be used?" asked another whose trash was investigated. "You just don't know. We weren't told anything. I'm still annoyed. It feels like an invasion of our privacy."
Shadow Local Government Minister, Bob Neill, said: 'There is growing public concern about town halls' powers to snoop on people's homes. Laws passed by Labour Ministers have created powers of entry for bin inspectors to enter homes and gardens. These must be scrapped."
And from Matthew Elliott, chief executive at the TaxPayers' Alliance, "This sneaky behaviour on the part of the council is underhand and alarming. Taxpayers are sick and tired of being spied on by their councils, it is an infringement of both their dignity and personal space. People are doing all they can to recycle, if they are throwing something away it's because they have to. This approach is unnecessarily aggressive and a waste of taxpayers' money and precious resources."