Friday, September 3, 2010

Comment: At Least You Can Have Large Items Collected

I received a comment on my last post entitled "Dumpster Takes Three Trucks To Clear".

Anonymous said...

You may be annoyed with multiple trucks to clear that pile of trash by the dumpster, but at least you can have large items collected for free at any time within a week of requesting it. There are communities where they can't afford to respond that quickly, and can only have large item collections once or twice a year.
The person is right. I can have large items collected for free. I am sure there are communities that do not have this option available to them. In Winnipeg, everyone is entitled to have large items picked up. The City of Winnipeg site states that there may be a fee of $20.00 assigned to the pickup, and they will collect up to six large items.  All a person has to do is contact 311.
In the North End there is not a charge for picking up large items. This is what I was told when I called 311 to ask why the garbage trucks keep driving down my lane without emptying any of the dumpsters. This was back in June. I was tired of getting little or no service in the way of waste management. I was also tired of trucks driving down my lane dropping large items off in my back yard at all hours of the night.
The problems with waste management in Winnipeg is one of the reasons I am writing this blog. I am tired of having to watch my back lane and make sure the garbage trucks are taking the garbage they are paid to take. The City of Winnipeg has contracted waste management out to a private company. This private company does not always do its job, and when it does, sometimes it only does part of its job. That is one issue that is occurring with waste management. I am getting my garbage removed weekly now, only because I spent an hour on the phone with 311 back in June explaining how the garbage truck keeps driving down the lane and takes nothing, week after week.
Another issue is that the North End has become a dumping ground for large items. Contractors dump their construction garbage. Residents dump their large screen TVs. We get couches, and mattresses from other areas of the city. Landlords are using the dumpsters to empty out problem houses instead of hauling large amounts of garbage to the Brady Landfill, or renting a temporary bin. These items are all being dumped in our back yards. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning in Transcona, River Heights, Charleswood, St James, and finding two couches and seven mattresses in your back lane. It might be up against your fence, or blocking the door to your garage. Maybe it is sitting in your yard next to the kids playhouse. Now imagine that you saw the person dumping the items, and they told you that you should be lucky that you get these items picked up for free as they got back in their truck and drove off. That is what is happening in the North End. And all you have to do is call 311 and someone will pick up the bulk garbage.
The trucks that pick up the bulk items are large garbage trucks. They are the trucks that open at the back to accept garbage. They are capable of handling large amounts of garbage. The contractors get paid by the ton I am sure. I have not seen the contracts, but I am sure it is something like that. But the bulk pickups state they will only pick up six items. The dumpster I was discussing had more than six items. So, it took two trips by this contract company to pick up a stack of items beside a single dumpster. I am sure there is a financial reason for this. I am sure there is a fee per ticket on top of the garbage collection fee associated with this issue. And each ticket created also costs to have a City employee drive out and verify the pick-up on top of the added cost to the contract company.
The next issue in this waste management mess is the illegal dumping of garbage. The process for reporting these people is to contact 311. They send the information to the City By-Laws people who do the investigating. But the City By-Laws people do not have access to the database at MPI that will allow them to see who is doing the dumping. So, although it is illegal for non-residents of these dumpsters to dump garbage and large items at or near the dumpsters, nothing is being done to stop the illegal dumping.
So, we have garbage trucks that may or may not pick up garbage. We have construction companies dumping their construction material in the back lanes of the North End. We have huge amounts of mattresses appearing in the back lanes of the North End. We have trucks coming in the middle of the night dropping residential garbage and large items. We have landlords filling entire back lanes with garbage as they empty problem houses. We have trucks that will only pick up six items at a time, and need to be called back to collect the remaining items in these huge piles. We have a City By-Law office that is unable to act on illegal acts. This is not as simple as "At Least You Can Have Large Items Collected".

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