Yes garbage that has been put out on the curb for pickup by the garbage men is public property.
So if you put something out by the curb for garbage then anyone who comes by can actually take that said item or items.
When you put something out by the curb as garbage it is now no longer in your possession and you've given up the ownership rights to whatever it is you've set out by the curb.
Once something is put out for garbage it's public property and in the public domain and anyone can come and get it.
So if you don't want to give up the item then don't put it out by the curb.
Also any garbage in garbage cans that are set out on the curb for trash pickup becomes available legally for anyone to dig through.
So whether you like it or not people can legally dig in your garbage cans once they are out by the curb.