Monday, October 11, 2010

Couches And Mattresses And City Tax Dollars

When a couch or a mattess gets deposited in the back lanes of the North End several different things may happen to it.
  • Someone may call 311 and report the item for bulk pickup, then a supervisor for the City of Winnipeg may visit the area and confirm that the item truely is there, and a garbage truck can drive down the lane and pick up the item.
  • The item may just sit in the back lane for a week, a month, several months, attracting rodents and insects.
  • If there is metal in the item, it may be dismantled and the metal may be removed and taken by someone who is scrapping, leaving the remaining carcass in the back lane.
  • The item may get set on fire, causing fire trucks and police to come to the scene.
The couches that were on fire in this picture caused one fire truck and four police cars to come to the scene. This happened on Saturday night at dusk.

The mattresses in this photo were one block away, and likely burned the same day.

How much does it cost to dispatch one fire truck and four police cars?

When will we get this issue of bulk garbage addressed? I look at these back lanes and I don't understand how the City of Winnipeg can have such a pathetic system for taking care of the bulk garbage dumped in the back lanes of the North End. Even when a garbage truck is dispatched to the North End to pick up bulk garbage, they only pick up specific items. They pick up items that are on their "ticket", and drive right past all the other bulky items sitting in the back lane.
How much tax money is spent in this extremely wasteful system of dispatching garbage trucks for specific items, and leaving all the other bulk items behind to await their fate. How many bulk items will be set on fire awaiting their special ticket to be prepared and sent to the Waste Management Company which is happily profiting from this absurd contract it has set up with the City of Winnipeg? How long are the citizens of Winnipeg going to stand for this blatant waste of tax payer money before they demand the City change the contract with the Waste Management Company so that bulky items are picked up when found. When will the City catch on that there are always bulky items in the back lanes of the North End and need to be picked up on a regular basis, and not just item by item in specific ticket requests?
How much money has already gone to this Waste Management Company from ticket requests for bulky items to be picked up in the North End, one item at a time, in the fashion that has been going on with this current contract? Somebody should look into this. It has got to be an insane amount of money being made by the Waste Management Company.


  1. I commend you for what you are doing. Never give up hope. We need more people like you in the inner city. I've heard that residents were getting fed up in Point Douglas with all the crime, drugs, and gangs, and decided to take action.

    From what I have heard and read, Point Douglas has improved in the last few years. It's still not the nicest area to live, but it is a start.

    I lived in West Broadway for 4 years and loved it. They have turned many zabandoned lots into community gardens, and made the area more appealing to student, and young families.

  2. West End, same deal. I have a box spring and mattress in the lane behind my house too. Calls to 311 start with "There is a charge to pick up..." and end with, "5 business days..." which often turn into never.

  3. The item may just sit in the back lane for a week, a month, several months, attracting rodents and insects. top rated latex mattresses