Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just Call 311 And Haul Your Crap To The Lane

I have been reporting illegal dumpings and bulk items to 311 for a while now. But a couple of days ago something happened that just confused the heck out of me. A property manager, or owner of a boarded up 4-plex was emptying the contents of the house into the back lane. And he said "don't worry, I have already called 311 to have them pick it up". What? What do you mean you already called 311? Who are you that you think you can dump all your crap in our back lanes and just call 311 to have them pick it up. What the f*ck? Tempers flared as confusion set in and the owner expressed his rights as a tax payer to put all the mattresses, dressers, bathroom sink, tables, and misc crap into the back lane in one huge pile. We left the scene, as the owner was getting quite heated that we would tell him what he was doing just was not cool. He was yelling that he was trying to fix his place up. He wanted to repair it and take the boards down and just did not know why we would not be pleased with him wanting to fix his boarded house. He said he was trying to improve the neighbourhood, and what he was doing was a good thing.
I wanted to drop by the scene of the crime an hour later to see just how big the pile of crap got. When we arrived, the pile had grown and so had the crowd of scroungers looking for prizes in the lane. People were dragging away dressers and mattresses, kids were taking away materials to use as forts that they could abandon once tired of them. And the helper was on the back steps of the boarded 4-plex.
As I was taking further pictures of the great pile of crap, the other guy that was helping in removing the items from the house began talking to us. It seems they had already called 311 to have them pick up the items in the lane. And apparently they do this quite often when emptying a house of unwanted materials. The story went that it would take them far too many trips to Brady Landfill in their Hummer, and they didn't want to have to pay to rent a truck to haul the stuff away. Instead they will call 311 and ask to be charged for the items being hauled away. But, he said, they generally are not charged. He did mention that they do rent a truck sometimes, but in this case, they just dumped the items in the lane. But they called 311.
Then the guy said he hoped the items would be taken away overnight, because they wanted to remove all the items from the second floor the next day. The huge pile of items was from only one of the floors. They had plans to haul even more crap into the lane once this pile had dissipated.
So, I got to thinking. If a person lives in Charleswood, and has a fridge that they no longer want, they can call 311 and have the bulky item removed for the small fee of $20.00. In fact, they can get up to 6 items removed for that small price. I am ok with that. It is a service the City provides and it helps people get large, bulky items removed when they don't have the ability or time to do so, or just plain find it easier to call the City and pay a fee. So, why can't a landlord, or owner of a 4-plex empty his entire house into a North End back lane, and simply call 311 to take it away? Can he? Is this right? Is this the actual process for removing crap from a house? Is this approved by the City? And do my tax dollars go to pay for this guy to have his crap removed from my lane? After all, his rental property is in a free zone for bulk garbage pick up.
Do I, as a neighbour to this event really have to accept that this guy can dump all the furniture, and the bathroom sink, into the lane? And all he has to do is call 311 to have it removed?
Please tell me, what is wrong with this picture?


  1. Just about everything is wrong with this picture! I think you should give Gordon Sinclair a call on this one. It is such blatent disregard for the citizens of this city, it almost takes my breath away.

  2. Makes people like me, who rent a roll off bin, and pay the tipping fees at the City dump to haul away 40 cubic yards of old crap abandoned in a house feel kinda' stupid... or good... not sure really.
    Principals are worthless until they cost you something I suppose, but the un level playing field has real $$$ associated with it.