Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dumpster Takes Three Trucks To Clear

One of the dumpsters I saw last week had two couches, and king size box spring sitting beside it on Aug 25. I reported the items to 311 to have them create a ticket and get the items picked up.
I took pictures of all the dumpsters along the back lanes I walked, and made note of each one that had mattresses and couches stacked beside them. Each issue was reported to, and I included a photo of each item I was reporting so they would know exactly what was sitting beside each dumpster. The people at 311 would thank me for the photo, stating that it helped them in knowing what needed to be picked up.
The next time I went down the back lane, I noticed there were more items stacked beside the dumpster. There were still the two couches and king size box spring. But now there was a door, and five or six more mattresses. This was on Aug 27. I already had a ticket created for this dumpster, so I thought it would all be taken care of. But I took a picture of the stack of items by the dumpster anyway, just so I would know exactly what was at the dumpster on that day.
The dumpster had been emptied the day before, on Aug 26. But the items beside the dumpsters do not get removed by the regular garbage truck. They have to wait for the special truck to arrive.
The next time I went down the back lane, on Aug 29, the mattresses and couches were still there. This was now four days after I reported the items, and two days after the dumpster was emptied. I talked to one of the people who lived near that dumpster. They said the couches had been by the dumpster for quite a while. I knew it could take a while after reporting the issue. I was told the contractors have 7 business days to take care of the ticket once they receive it. I was told this on Aug 26. So, the constractors still had plenty of time to pick these items up.
On Aug 31, I checked on the dumpster with the couches and mattresses again. This time I noticed most of the mattresses were gone. But the two couches and one box spring that were originally beside the dumpster were still there. Where did the stack of mattresses go? Did the truck come and pick up only some of the mattresses? Or did someone from the area decide they wanted the mattresses and took them away? I wanted to know, so I sent an email in to I quoted the ticket number I was originally given for the two couches and the box spring. I asked the status of the ticket. I received a reply the next day telling me the ticket had been closed. I asked for more detail, provided the photos showing more mattresses appearing, then back to the original items. I was told that they do not receive any information except that the ticket had been closed. So, it seems the contractors came to the dumpster and took only part of the items that needed to be picked up. The people at 311 made yet another ticket to have the items picked up. Again, we would try to have the two couches and box spring picked up from beside the dumpster.
Finally yesterday the couches and box spring were cleaned up from the back lane. But it took two special trucks to come to a single dumpster to pick up the items.
While I was checking on the dumpsters on Aug 31, I noticed a city worker going down the back lanes. I stopped the person to ask what they were doing. I was told that he was checking on the reports of items to be picked up. I was told that a contractor is not sent out to pick up any mattresses, couches, or any other large item until someone drives out to the location and verifies that the item is approved for pick-up. An item will not get picked up if it is still on private property, which I can understand. But I sent photos showing exactly what I am requesting for pickup. I was told he still has to come out and verify the items before sending the request to the contractors.
The city is no longer in control of the garbage pick-up. That has been contracted out to a private company. What the city does have control of is a system of creating tickets. We contact them regarding bulk trash and they make a ticket. They have a city worker confirm the ticket by driving down the back lanes, then they send the ticket to the contractor. Then what? Does the city worker check to make sure the ticket was completed by driving down the back lanes again? And how much garbage do these contract workers pick up when a ticket is issued? Apparently they do not pick up everything. I saw that myself with the stack of mattresses. A second ticket had to be created. A second drive down the back lane to verify the ticket had to be done. A second contractor truck had to come down the lane to pick up the couches and box spring.
So that one dumpster had the regular garbage truck, the city worker verifying each bulk pick-up request, and the contractor truck coming down the lane to pick up the mattresses on the first trip and the two couches and box spring on its second trip. Didn't it used to take just one truck on garbage day?

1 comment:

  1. 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.