Saturday, August 13, 2011

BFI Works On Saturday?

I heard a noise in the lane this morning. It sounded like a vehicle struggling with a steering fluid issue, and it seemed to go on for quite some time. I cannot really say what the noise actually was, but I know it was coming from the lane.
By the time I got the interest to go into my back lane today, it was around noon. And when I arrived, I saw the mattress by the full dumpster was gone, and so was all the garbage on the ground around it. The big screen TV was taken away as well, along with the kiddy pool leaning up against it, that arrived last night. And the two mattresses were taken out of the other dumpster.
There was fresh steering fluid on the ground, in that all too familiar pattern. So, I am pretty sure that noise I heard in the back lane earlier was from the garbage truck.
A few things surprised me about todays events, though. First, that a BFI truck dropped by on a Saturday. And second, that the loose bags and boxes beside the dumpster were picked up and taken away along with the mattresses. I guess I will have to say "Thank You" to BFI for taking care of these items today.
The full dumpster, that did not get emptied on Friday, is still filled to the top. I am hoping it is emptied prior to this next garbage day, as I did submit a request for an overfilled dumpster to be emptied already. Time will tell on that one. And three other dumpsters are well on their way to being full. As folks around town do yard work and home renovations this weekend, I am sure the dumpsters will become even more full of unwanted materials in the days to come. I will have to keep an eye on the lane, and submit my requests to 311 for dumpsters to be emptied and unwanted garbage to be removed.
As our Chief of Police said, in relation to the rash of fires that have hit Winnipeg in these past few months, something has to be done about the policies of Waste Management. I would have to agree with that. I should not have to be this vigilant in my back lane, just to make sure I am able to take my garbage out and have it removed from the lane. And there should not be this much garbage appearing in my lane. These dumpsters are for residential garbage. Not for mattresses, or big screen tvs, or lawn care business refuse, or construction materials. These dumpsters are not here for landlords to empty their properies, and they are not here for tenants to dispose of great piles of unwanted materials.
The sign on the dumpster says, or it would if it was not burnt off, "if you cannot bag it or tie it, you cannot toss it".
Take your unwanted TV's, couches, mattresses, construction materials and yard waste to Brady Landfill, where it belongs. And stop adding fuel to the all too many fires in the back lanes of Winnipeg.

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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Thought It Was Garbage Day In My Back Lane

Today is Thursday. That means it is garbage day in my back lane. I usually hear the truck early in the morning, but not today. Then late this afternoon I heard that familiar sound of the garbage truck in the lane struggling to pick up the dumpsters, one by one, emptying them.
I thought nothing more of it for a few hours. Then, after supper I decided to take a look in the lane and see what condition the dumpsters were in, checking on the job the BFI guys did removing items.
Well, I guess I was wrong in thinking they took the garbage. What actually happened was they emptied two dumpsters in the lane. The other seven dumpsters were still full, and all the bulk items dumped in the lane beside and around those dumpsters was there as well. I can only hope the dumpsters are emptied tomorrow.
Now, I don't know who dumped all this garbage in the lane. I am not sure who put all the mattresses against the dumpsters. I can't tell you who cut their trees and filled that one dumpster. I have no idea who filled the shopping cart with garbage and pushed it over beside the dumpster. But I know the garbage in the dumpsters is not all residential garbage. And I highly doubt that all this garbage came from the residents of my back lane. I just want the dumpsters in my lane emptied, so I can throw my garbage out. I don't think that is too much to ask. And in light of all the arsons, must I really say this, I think it might be prudent to have the BFI guys drop by at their earliest convenience and get this garbage.
In other parts of the City it seems to be the thing to do. Removing the garbage cuts down on the chances of fires. Come take away my combustibles, please. I shouldn't have to beg.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Intoxicated Individuals And The Law

A few weeks back I was witness to an intoxicated individual damaging property. The individual broke through the neighbours hedge, attempted to break in to the neighbouring house through a window, then got back into his truck and drove away. Later, he drove back, smashed into a fence with his truck, and slumped over the steering wheel of his truck to wait for his friend to come home.
The police decided he was doing nothing wrong. Even after a second party advised they witnessed this person driving the vehicle and smashing into the fence, he did nothing wrong.
I myself thought the individual was guilty of public intoxication, vandalism, attempted break and enter, and driving while intoxicated. Apparently I was incorrect. Public intoxication is not a crime. It was brought to my attention last week when I was given a link to "The Intoxicated Persons Detention Act". The Act is part of the laws of the province of Manitoba. Section 4 of the Act states "Any provision of an Act of Legislature, or of a regulation made thereunder, or of a by-law of a municipality or local government district, creating an offence of, or prohibiting a person from, being drunk or intoxicated in a public place is no longer applicable."
Now, I get that we cannot outlaw drinking and being intoxicated in public. We are not in the prohibition era. Most Canadians enjoy a beverage or two,  some may say it's part of our culture. We have socials, beer gardens, and all sorts of events that include the drinking of alchoholic beverages. But what about those who over-indulge?
What about the individuals who are loudly walking down the street, causing others to fear for their safety? What about those who fall asleep in parks, on benches, and in bus shelters? What about the intoxicated people who leave parties and later engage in violent acts against the innocent? Where does the law stand regarding those intoxicated individuals?
According to the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act in section 2(1), "Where a peace officer finds in a place to which the public has access a person who is intoxicated, he may take that person into custody". So, the peace officer has the right, but is not obligated, to take the intoxicated individual into custody.
How many violent acts have been committed by intoxicated individuals in the City of Winnipeg this year? How many murders were at the hands of intoxicated individuals? And how many of these people could have been taken into custody prior to their acts of violence?
How many intoxicated individuals do the Police have to deal with on a daily, or nightly basis? And how many do they know on a first name basis from repeat incidences?
And why am I irritated regarding laws allowing public intoxication? I guess that's what you really want to know. Why do I have such a bee in my bonnet about public intoxication? And how has public intoxication affected me you may ask.
Well, I make sure my car doors are locked when driving down Main Street. I have always done that. And it is because of the intoxicated people along the street.
I watch for jay walking pedestrians, especially when driving down Main Street and Selkirk Avenue. I refer to those strips as "The Gauntlet". One never knows when someone under the influence is going to cross the street.
When walking in the North End I use caution when passing individuals who are under the influence.
When I worked downtown, I bicycled to work in the summer months, and often had to pass highly intoxicated individuals. I was always careful to watch them, not trusting what they might do. I actually stopped bicycling after a few incidences along my journeys to and from work.
Every time I drive down Main Street, past the Thunderbird House and the Bars by Sutherland Ave, I wonder why there are so many intoxicated people on the grass, on benches, and on the sidewalks. I wonder how they can be allowed to sit there, or lean against a building, with beer cans in their hands at all hours of the day.
I wondered why nothing was ever done about such a large number of intoxicated individuals lining one of the major streets in our City. And I guess I got an answer last week, when I was given the link to The Intoxicated Persons Detention Act.
So now I ask YOU, what is wrong with this policy?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Glossary Of North End Euphemisms

Here are some saying we have in the North End, that I have not heard in other parts of the city:
  • Sometimes you see a person pushing a shopping cart down the street or sidewalk. On top of the shopping cart is a TV, or sofa chair. That's what you call a North End Moving Company. The best was when my husband saw four shopping carts duct taped together, with a couch, microwave, and a bunch of cloths.
  • I see people piggy backing on bicycles a lot. One person is sitting on the bicycle seat and the second is on the handlebars. That's a North End Taxi. The other day I saw a third person on the back, standing on the axles of the back wheel.
  • The North End Doorbell is rung when someone stops on the street in front of a house and yells to their friend. This can continue for quite a long time before they are either let in, or finally leave. Last week the pizza delivery guy was ringing the North End Doorbell, yelling "pizza ..... pizza .... hello ...... pizza". He never did knock on the door. Finally they answered, and got their pizza.
  • When a dumpster is torched and the Fire Department comes out to put the fire out, the dumpster gets filled with water. That's the North End Jacuzzi.
  • A neighbour who works at a daycare in the area said the sirens are the North End Lullaby. They all joke about the North End Lullaby at the daycare. She said the kids can't sleep without it, the sirens lull the babies to sleep. That's how accustomed to the sirens the North End babies are.
If you know of some others, let me know. They are meant to be in jest, so remember, keep it light.