The Garbage Ape is a recurring character in the Heathcliff comic strip. He is a large, bipedal ape (possibly a gorilla) known for his association with humans' discarded refuse stored in large metal cans (colloquially known as garbage).
The Garbage Ape is, as his name might imply, an ape preoccupied with garbage. The Garbage Ape appears to be based on the phenomenon of garbage cans that are overturned during the night: the Garbage Ape is most often shown at night, and when shown is generally depicted as flipping over the garbage cans of humans (or occasionally even stealing them).
The Garbage Ape is relatively unique in the Heathcliff universe as a character that receives Heathcliff's unconditional love and respect. The Garbage Ape is never attacked or mauled by Heathcliff as other characters might be, and is never a victim for the sake of a punchline. Heathcliff's love of the Garbage Ape is well-documented, and repeated often within the strip.
The Garbage Ape's color is extremely varied, ranging from black to brown to even pink in some strips. Whether this change in color is canon (perhaps a result of the Garbage Ape's fur being staind from the garbage that gives it its name) or simply a stylistic decision is unknown. The existence of the Garbage Ape's sidekick, Trash Chimp, gives rise to the possibility that there may even be multiple Garbage Apes in the Heathcliff universe. Aside from the Trash Chimp, nothing is known of the Garbage Ape's family or home life.
http://www.gocomics.com/heathcliff/2013/06/12 (mentioned only)