Saturday, September 4, 2010

There is movement at the Party Duplex

There are people moving into the duplex. The current occupant seems to already know them.
Two weeks ago, on August 20th I called the police to make a noise complaint. This was at 4:30am. They said they had received several other complains as well regarding the noise issue. The people had taken their party to the back yard and were yelling at each other. This went on until at least 6:00am. I know, because I could not sleep all night.
The next morning, at 9:30am the police arrived at the house and were banging on the door. They were banging for quite a while. Finally a four year old boy answered the door. Next thing I saw, there was a dog tied up next to the police car with an extention cord, and four little kids in the back of the police car.
A while later a few vehicles showed up, looking like Child and Family Services. And Judy W, the mayoral candidate, was there as well. The kids diapers were changed on the street, and the kids were taken off.
The next day there was a white truck at the party house, with a few big guys. There was a lot of yelling coming from the front yard of the house. A short while later the truck drove off with the two big guys, and several occupants of the residence.
Not all of the residents left. There are two suites in the house. The upstairs resident was still seen, with a young child. The young child and other kids of the neighbourhood were throwing rotten apples down the lane a few days later. The adult did not care, and said its the North End, and he could do what he wants. The adult was seen on a few occasions tossing garbage out the window into the yard.
Then last weekend, on Sunday, the party duplex got cleaned out. All the dumpsters down the lane got filled with garbage. Mattresses and a couch were left by the dumpsters. That mess finally got cleaned up on Thursday when the garbage trucks arrived.
The rotten apples are still in the back yard, and the wasps are getting worse every day.
Aug 20 was not the first time we called the police regarding that duplex. Several complaints had been made by many people in the neighbourhood. Several calls to the police and the landlord had been placed. This house is a known issue and has been for quite some time.
Now, it looks like people are moving in to the duplex. The current resident seems to know the people who are moving in, and I heard someone give a list of furniture that will be provided to them as they move back. It looked like another vehicle from CFS.
Did the residents get temporarily moved out so someone could shovel out their mess, then moved back in with new furniture and clothing? How often does this house cleaning process happen?
And will they be partying again tonight? Are we back to sleepless nights?

A Woman Just Sh#T On The Sidewalk

A woman just sqatted on the sidewalk. She had her pants down and was squatting on the sidewalk. This was right across the street beside a hedge. When asked what she was doing and if she just sh#t on the sidewalk, her reply was "at least I had toilet paper". She walked on down the sidewalk.
No photo. You don't need to see that.

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".

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?

Monday, August 30, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons You Make Lemonade

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, or rather, when life gives you apples falling and rotting under the neighbours tree, you pick them and make apple crisp.
The property manager cleaned up the house and yard of the duplex a few doors down. When he was in the yard the question was asked, "Can we pick the apples off the tree?" The yard has a huge apple tree, filled with large apples. As of late the apples have been falling to the ground in the yard of the party duplex. The apples have been rotting and attracting wasps.

Although the apples were mostly cleaned up yesterday there are more on the ground today. I went into the yard to have a look at the tree and see if I could get an apple to try. I was wondering what the apples would be like, and if they would be ok to eat. There were so many apples on the ground that it was hard to walk without stepping on them. The apples on the ground were also covered with wasps. Some apples could hardly be seen for the amount of wasps on them. Other apples no longer held the shape of an apple and were just brown sauce on the ground.
I was not able to reach any of the apples on the tree myself. So, my husband got a stick and knocked one of the apples out of the tree. I took the apple home, washed it, and cut into it. We both tried the apple. It was good. It was a nice, sweet tasting apple. It wasn't grainy at all. It was actually a very good apple.
So, I decided I would go back into the yard with a ladder and a bucket, and pick the apples. That way they would not be dropping on the ground, rotting, and collecting all the wasps. The property manager said he did not care if we picked the apples. And the people living in the duplex do not seem to care anything about their yard. So, off we went. My husband brought the ladder, and I carried the bucket. I found a section of the tree that seemed to have a fair amount of apples. The ladder was set in place, and up I climbed to get some apples.
As soon as I was up the ladder I had a wasp on me. I thought I would be ok. They don't sting unless they are bothered and I thought I would just be careful not to bother the wasp sitting on my arm. I went to pick my first apple. I put my hand around it and noticed it had a hole in it and was full of wasps. That apple stayed in the tree. I went to the next apple. It looked fine, so I plucked it out of the tree and placed it in the bucket.
That was when I put my arm down. My arm touched my side, and the wasp stung. That was it for me. I was ready to leave with one single apple. The yard was full of wasps on the ground and they had overtaken the tree as well.
My husband was brave enough to go up the ladder and see what he could do. He was careful to check each apple before picking it, and slowly worked to get the apples out of the tree. He got half a bucket of apples from the tree. That was about it. The apples are high up in the tree, and full of wasps. The wasps were swarming all around the tree. And the apples on the ground were full of wasps as well.
We went home with the bucket half full of apples. It was harder than I thought because of the condition the yard was already in. I was hoping to make a bigger dent in the apples still on the tree.
But home I went. I washed the apples and cut half of them up, and made apple crisp.
I told my neighbour what I did as well. I said maybe next year we can pick the apples from the tree before they start falling on the ground. Maybe next year the entire neighbourhood can pick the apples from the tree and prevent the apples from falling to the ground and making the mess that we now have.
I wonder how many other trees there are in the city that have apples falling on the ground in the same fashion as this one. How many other yards are full of rotting, wasp infested apples?
What if the city had a list of these yards with apples people are not picking, or using? What if someone, or some group, picked the apples? They could be given to community members who wanted a bag of apples, or given to the food bank.  They could be given to a Church group to bake with and give to a soup kitchen. Something could be done with the apples so they are not left to rot on the ground.
Maybe we could turn a negative into a positive, with just a little imagination.

Party Duplex Gets Cleaned Out

I contacted the City of Winnipeg about the garbage and rotten apples in the back yard of the party duplex on my street. They were going to investigate. Thank goodness. The apples were attracting wasps and really starting to stink. And garbage was piling up in the back yard. I even saw the resident upstairs pitch garbage out of the window into the back yard.
On Sunday a van pulled up in the back lane behind the party house. The woman from the van was hauling garbage out of the house, and filled up two dumpsters. I have no idea if it was related to my complaint or not, but thank goodness. I was glad to see that someone was going to take care of the garbage accumulating at that house.

Then the property manager of the party duplex arrived at the house around noon. Again, I am not sure why he was there. He entered the location, came out and threw up. I guess it was pretty nasty inside. He mentioned that there was a vacancy that needed to be filled. Maybe he came to clean up a vacant suite. That may be the result of a whole other story from a few weeks ago involving several noise complaint calls to the police all night, the party duplex residents yelling, breaking glass, threatening neighbours all night, and the police arriving at 9:30am, followed by CFS taking three kids away. 
The police were banging on the party duplex door for quite a while. Finally the door was answered by a four year old. Next thing we saw, there were three kids sitting in the back of a police car and a dog beside the car. CFS finally showed up, changed a diaper, and took the kids. It breaks your heart to see that kind of stuff going on.
... Back to the cleanup. The property manager hired a fellow to clean up the house. The fellow had been working for a few hours already before the property manager came to check on things. He hauled garbage out of the house all day.

Enough garbage was taken out of the house to fill every dumpster in my back lane. Every dumpster is now full or overfull from the contents of the duplex. If this all came from just one suite, how bad was it in there?
Lets just say the main floor of the duplex is 1200 sq ft. I know the dumpsters are 5'x4' and stacked 6' high. It looks like 5 dumpsters worth of garbage, plus a couch, a few chairs, a kitchen table, 2 box spring and mattresses and 1 single mattress. The dumpsters alone are 600 sq ft of garbage.

Was it just from the main floor? Is the suite empty, or is this just round one? If this was the condition of the main floor, how bad is the second floor? If the property manager threw up when he entered the suite, how bad is the entire house?
And while the garbage was being hauled out of the house, while the yard was being cleaned up, the person upstairs threw another bag of garbage out the window into the back yard.
I know it's on your mind. It is certainly on mine. How many bed bugs were evicted during the clean-up. How many bed bugs were distributed down my back lane into every dumpster. How many bed bugs are on the mattresses, on the couch, in and around the entire back lane now that the garbage has been distributed?
Who gets to take the garbage out tomorrow from your house? And how close do you want to get to your dumpster?