Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How much of a stink do I make about it?

Pun intended.

Well, we've switched to the fancy new garbage carts on my street. I completely forgot to use it the first week that we could (August 3rd) because the autobins were still around and I was still using it. My recycling? Well, I just plain forgot to put that out, but that's nothing new - at least now the big cart holds two weeks worth.

So, enter week 2 (August 10). I put my carts out Thursday night and when I came home Friday after work, the garbage had been picked up, but not the recycling. I called 311, waited on hold for ages to talk to a real person, only to be told that the contractor had until 6pm to pick it up. It was 530. So, when of course it wasn't picked up at 6, I called back to lodge a complaint.

I was told that there were any number of reasons why the truck may have missed the pick up, however it could take up to 24 hours for the reason to be input into the system. I asked when I could expect it to be picked up. I was told to put it out on the next business day (Monday) and if it wasn't picked up on Monday it probably would be on Tuesday, but that if it wasn't picked up on Tuesday to just put it out on my next regular day (Friday). I would like to give that policy an official WTF?? So you're telling me, that if my garbage/recycling is missed, I have to wait TWO DAYS before it might be collected? Whose genius idea was it to have the North End have Friday as its pick up day? The part of town where stinky plastic bins are most likely to be set alight should wait an additional two days? If our pick up day was Monday, then in theory missed collections would be rectified on Tuesday.

Now, thankfully, my instinct told me to put the cart out again Saturday as I know from looking at the yearly schedule that they do indeed sometimes work Saturdays. It was picked up - but had I followed the advice of the 311 operator I would have been dragging it out Monday and Tuesday only to have it ignored. Now, I am an able bodied person so dragging the cart back in forth in summer is no big deal - what about my 95 year old neighbour? What about in winter when even for me it's not going to be easy, what with the giant snow rows that are created by the plows?

As well, with the removal of the autobins, there are spots all over the North End where it's very easy to see where they once were by the rubbish that surrounds the area. Before one of the bins near me was removed I called in a complaint about the bulky waste, being sure to be very specific about the type and quantity that was there. I called it in on a Thursday night and I was informed that since it hadn't been called in 48 hours before our new regularly scheduled bulky waste pick up day (also every Friday) it would be picked up the following week. It wasn't.

So not only is it completely ridiculous that I have to call it in, so that they can then send a City employee out to verify that it is what was called in (yes, that's right, there is a paid position that drives around to simply verify called in complaints. This person does not report any waste themselves, just drives right on by anything not on their list) but then they don't even pick it up???

Can you imagine if a regular person ran their business this way? They would go bankrupt in no time because of ridiculous business practices. "Hi there, I'd like to hire your to move my things to my new house" *patiently wait on the scheduled day of move, no one shows up, call movers* "Hi there, you were supposed to move me today?" "What? You will come maybe tomorrow or the next day, you don't really know?" "You expect me to still hire you and pay full price?" Yet, seemingly this is the way the contracts that the City has work. Cool. Remind me to bid on the next one as seemingly it doesn't really matter if I follow my contract.

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