Friday, August 12, 2011

Waste Management And My Back Lane

The garbage truck returned this morning at 6am, to pick up the remainder of the garbage. Well, more or less. Most of the dumpsters were emptied. But they do not empty any dumpster that has items leaned up against it, or items that may be considered in the way of the dumpster. That is their policy.
So, I fully expected to see several of the dumpsters still full.
What I did find, however, was better than I ever expected. Only one of the dumpsters was left untouched. And that is because there were mattresses leaned up against it.
The next dumpster was emptied, and the big screen tv left beside the dumpster. But the most surprising item in the lane was the dumpster that had mattresses against it, a shopping cart full of garbage, and garbage strewn all around the area. That dumpster got emptied and the area around it was cleaned. I am not sure what actually happened, but a resident must have been in the lane asking the BFI worker to take the garbage. The resident must have moved some of the bulk garbage out of the way. And the resident must have refilled the dumpster with all the piles of garbage that was lying on the ground and in the shopping carts.
Then the BFI guy must have re-emptied the dumpster, and the resident must have put the mattresses in that dumpster. But really, all I know for sure is that the dumpster was emptied, the ground around it is amazingly clean, and there are two mattresses resting in the dumpster. I am not sure why those two mattresses could not be taken away today, but I guess I should be grateful that anything was taken, in regards to that dumpster.
Now, you may think I am upset about the other items that remain in the lane today. Not so. I know the process. I contacted 311. I actually contacted them yesterday regarding the garbage. They answered my email, and provided me with reference numbers. Their process is to schedule a city worker to drive out and investigate my lane to confirm that I truly have garbage which needs to be removed. Then the city worker will contact BFI to let them know they need to come and pick up the bulk garbage. Then finally, another BFI truck, the one that loads garbage from the back, will come down my lane and remove the bulk items. That should take care of the large screen tv, the mattresses leaned up against the one dumpster, and they may take the mattresses inside the other dumpster. Then the residents of my lane must wait for garbage day next week, so the full dumpster can be emptied. Once the full dumpster is emptied next week, a resident from my lane will have to throw the garbage that is strewn around that one dumpster inside the dumpster. Then the dumpster will be full, and the cycle starts over again. The dumpster will be overfilled and will receive more garbage in and around it, and will be reported to 311 yet again. that means the garbage lying on the ground in my lane right now will actually be removed on Aug 25. So much for making sure garbage is removed in efforts to cut back on arson.
And to top this all off, the residents of my lane know a lot of the garbage we have did not even originate from us. It came from outside the North End, and was deposited here by illegal dumpers driving their trucks into our lanes and getting rid of their garbage because they are too cheap or too lazy to drive to Brady Landfill.
So, the next time you drive past the North End and see garbage on the ground, or the next time you drive down my lane and deposit your garbage, put some thought into what is actually happening here. And the next time you hear about a dumpster fire in the North End, think about what I am telling you here. The residents of the North End want to be able to put their residential garbage in the recepticles they are given, the residents of the North End want safe back lanes, and the residents of the North End want to cut down on arson just like the rest of the City. We are not so different from you.


  1. if only recording license plates of illegal dumping would be followed up by police... well it may discourage a few

    my backlane near Kildonan Park is not nearly as bad at all... but occasionally you see couches and other stuff jammed in... ohh and these lawn care businesses... all clippings get dumped illegally in the dumpsters.

    luckily ours have never been burnt.

  2. It seems unfair that one part of town gets stuck with these bins that are practically magnets for illegal dumpers.