Monday, August 23, 2010

Dumpster Check Aug 23

I just went out to check the dumpsters in my back lane. This is something I would never have done in any other area of the city that I have lived in. But since living in the north end, I have discovered that it is truely a different world.
Back in the beginning of June of this year I heard the garbage truck drive down the back lane. My thought was "oh good, they are going to empty the dumpsters". But no, that is not what happened. I saw the truck stop, look at the dumpster, then drive on.
I went to the phone and called 311. I had it. Enough was enough. This was not the first time I saw the garbage trucks drive down the back lane, look at the dumpsters, and keep on driving. I talked to the person at 311 for an hour. I appologized several times to that person. I said I knew it was not her fault. But I was also just so sick of what had been going on for years in my back alley. I was sick of the residents of other areas of town dumping their residential and commercial garbage in my dumpster and other dumpsters in my back lane. I was sick of the dumpsters filling, then overfilling and spilling into my back yard, the neighbours back yards and the back lane. I was sick of the stacks of mattresses and couches. I was sick of the smell of the dumpsters. I was sick of the fires being set in the dumpsters that did not get emptied. I was sick of my cable going out every time a dumpster was set on fire down my back lane because the city workers could not be bothered to do their jobs in the north end.
Now I patrol my back lane. I talk to people who feel they have every right to put their garbage my dumpster. I try to explain that it is my residential dumpster, and my neighbours residential dumpster. I try to explain it is illegal for them to deposit their garbage in these dumpsters. I also take their pictures and try to get their license plate in the picture. If they are rude, I send the picture in to the city, because it is actually illegal for them to be dumping their garbage in my dumpster.
I also take pictures of mattresses and couches that are in and around the dumpsters in my back lane. I sent that into the city so that a special truck can come out to pick them up. I take pictures of dumpsters that are full of non-residential garbage so a special truck can come out to pick up the garbage. I do this so our dumpsters do not get overfull. I try to reduce the excess spillage of garbage into the back lane. I do this so the dumpsters, couches and mattresses don't get set on fire. I do this to try and educate people to stop dumping in my back lane.

Sometimes when I do the walk, I get a giggle. Sometimes there are feet and legs in the dumpster. When I went into the lane this fellow was rummaging in my dumpster. Then he worked his way down the back lane. Last I saw, he was right in there trying to get something out.
But there were other things to see in the back lane as well. The crack house was cleaning out mattresses again. That seems to be a regular event. They don't get cleaned up though unless someone calls in to the city to have them specifically picked up. So I will make a request to have them picked up. I don't want them lit on fire.
There was also a dumpster full of TVs or TV parts. Thats the sort of thing that looks like it came from somewhere else. So, not only is the dumpster full of TVs but it is overfull of TVs. The back lane now has TV parts, and the dumpster is too full to accept any more garbage. But it will, it will be stacked on top, then fall into the lane.

Then there is the dumpster that has the nasty garbage overflowing onto the ground beside the dumpster. These are city dumpsters. They are not owned by a single resident and are not property of any of the residents. When the dumpster gets its garbage loaded into the garbage truck nobody cleans up the mess that is left behind. When the dumpster is overfilled by residents and non-residents, nobody cleans up the mess that is left behind.
This dumpster isn't too bad. It is just clothing that is overflowing. But it does get nasty. And after the garbage has been sitting on the ground for several weeks it stinks.
What I want to know is why do I have to do this back lane check? Why do I have to let the city know there are mattresses and couches? Why do I have to let them know that there is still garbage on the ground? Shouldn't the garbage men already know this when they are driving down the back lane? This was something I asked the lady at 311 that day I had her ear for an hour. She said it is not their job to report these issues. In fact, if the dumpster has something large in it, they don't have to pick up the garbage at all in that dumpster. They also don't have to tell anyone that they couldn't pick up the garbage. They can just drive right by.
So it is up to us to police our back lanes. It is up to us to let the city know there are large items in need of a pickup. And it is up to us to let the city know that there is garbage on the ground around the dumpsters that needs to be picked up.
Oh, by the way, the city garbage men have shovels with them to pick up the extra garbage. But that does not mean they actually use the shovels.
Well, thats my tax dollars hard at work, in the North End.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I don't know what I would if I had garbage dumped all over me. Maybe I probably take 5 showers a day...