Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Department Takes Care Of Mattesses Left Abandoned?

What happens to all the mattresses and couches left in the streets and alleys of the North End, and other areas of Winnipeg? This was a question I asked myself as I drove down the streets of the North End in the past few years.
In June of this year I called 311 when I saw the garbage truck stop at the dumpster behind my house, look at it, and drive on. It was the second or third week in a row that the dumpster did not get emptied. I called 311 and told them of my dissatisfaction with the service I was receiving. I demanded they take care of it, and they have a supervisor follow the garbage trucks to ensure they are actually doing the job they have been contracted to do. While I was on the phone with the 311 person, I also mentioned the couches and mattresses that sit in the back lanes. This is when I was told I could call and have them picked up. I was told it was free in the North End of Winnipeg. The reason given was because these items are set on fire if they are not picked up. I would never have known that this service was available if I had not called 311 and mentioned it. I also mentioned that a lot of these bulk items are deposited by people from outside the area. She said that was a different issue, that was an issue of illegal dumping and would be directed to the City By-Laws department.
So, if I have a mattress I want to get rid of, I can call 311 and have it picked up for free, because I live in the North End. Otherwise, I could drive it to the Brady Landfill site and pay to deposit it there.
If the mattress was dumped illegally, I could report it as an illegal dumping, include as much information as I have regarding the illegal dumping, and have the By-Laws department investigate the illegal dumping before the garbage gets removed.
And last week I found out about another department. There is a mattress resting on the front boulevard of my street in front of a house. It has been there for a week now. I reported the mattress to 311 and I was told that it is being forwarded to the Public Works Department. On the evening of October 14 I was told it would be investigated within one business day and the issue would be completed within 4 business days.
So, I guess it depends where the mattress is, and how it arrives at its location, for which department gets involved with the removal of said mattress. All I know is that it is a mattress out of place.
I received a comment today from RM regarding a box spring and mattress in the West End of Winnipeg.
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.

From what I know, if you did not place the items in your back lane, contact 311 and report an illegal dumping. Provide what information you know regarding the items, how long they have been there, who put them there, if you know, and any other information you may have. That changes the issue from "can you pick up my old fridge" to "there is a fire hazzard that has been dropped mysteriously in my back lane, please investigate it".

1 comment:

  1. Public Works gets involved if the mattress is not at the normal pickup location ie. the autobin.
    Water and Waste contracts out the collection of bulk waste pickup.
    People can place out the items next to the bins and contact 311 for a collection; if people dump items into the bin that they should not be, including bulk waste, you are able to report it to Community By Law Enforcement.