Shows like "Hoarders" have made many people familiar with the piles of trash and debris that are a trademark of the disorder. An image of a house filled to the brim with refuse that might once have been shocking has now become more commonplace.
So for news about a particular hoarder to stand out, there has to be another element to the story.
How about this? A man's East San Jose trash heap is so enormous, it is visible on Google Maps.
San Jose ABC affiliate KGO reports that neighbors in the area say Richard Baker's house has been a problem for decades. But things got much worse after his parents died in 2002, according to KGO.
Now, it's not even clear if Baker still lives in the home, or if he's even still alive.
KGO contacted a laundry list of government agencies, finally getting a county supervisor to tentatively say the mess will be cleaned up in about two months.
But Baker's neighbors might want to consider themselves lucky. Government intervention isn't always possible.
In December, the Daily Mail reported on the case of Richard Wallace in Westcott, England. When neighbors tried to get Wallace to get rid of his rubbish, he went to court and won. The court ruled that people have a human right to hoard, even if, as in Wallace's case, the garbage can be seen from space.
Headlines like these might become more common, as ABC Radio in Australia reports that a million Australian's lives could be "ruined" by hoarding.
And back stateside, the Associated Press reported last week that firefighters in Arizona are being trained on how to best deal with hoarding-related blazes.
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