In our neck of the woods (suburban north St. Louis County), there are many trash services (waste haulers in proper terminology) that come around each week to pick up our stuff that we cast off. That was true until March 30, when in the wisdom known only to a few, the city fathers decided to go with one trash hauler for the entire city. The rationale was that they could get a better price, trash cans would only be out in a neighborhood on one day, not five days because everyone chose their own trash service, and they came around on different days. And those heavy trucks would only be on our fragile suburban streets once a week, instead of every day. Our little neighborhood of 15 houses developed the idea that we would have only 1 trash service come on our street, it's a covenant in our homeowner's association policy. It worked for me.
This idea of one trash service per neighborhood or city has been floating around for a few years, and many of the larger incorporated suburban cities have glommed onto the idea, and have put it into place. The president of the entire county council lives on our street, so no wonder we had no choice of services, because the ideas of "trash zones" have been implemented by that governmental body, with outcry from citizenry over having no choice who takes away their cast-offs. After all, this is America, where we all have freedom of choice. Hm-m-m-m-m.
Our city council and the mayor of our fair city (population about 50000, so it's no tiny burg) decided to find one waste hauler (trashmen--NO WAY--HOW POLITICALLY INCORRECT!) to serve us all. It was differrent from the one our street had been using so it meant a change.
Now, some people embrace change, but I'm into routine, and I don't like change unless there is a compelling reason. First of all, they were right, the cost is less, I think from my last bill, it is about $2 less per month. However, they do have a great senior citizen rate, in that you get your service for half-price, and the city subsidizes this, so since I'm so old, I don't have to pay as much for my service. Change may be looking better.
Service????? Well, the first week went smoothly, except that I had my trash cans out for 3 days straight to get the day right when they picked up. You see, our illustrious and quite long-winded mayor had made a recorded call to every house in our city to tell us that we would be getting new trash service, and to look for the mailings from the city AND the company they had chosen to serve us as to the details of this change. I got the first letter from the city, with no details, but never did get the second letter.
My darling daughters, who also live in this fair city, got their letters, and my dear MonkeyGirl shared hers with me, looking out for her mother who can be forgetful at times. The letter gave me the cost breakdown, and gave the day of trash pickup. But that was why my trash cans were out for 3 days. Here's how that went down -Monday--oh, I forgot, this week we are changing trash service--that's the day the OLD service picked up--no trash pickup; Tuesday--that's what the letter said, why didn't they pick up my trash? I noticed I was the only one who had put the trash can out that day, then it finally dawned on me,oh, because the letter that said Tuesday was going to another part of the city, and MonkeyGirl got hers picked up today--so no trash pickup for me; Wednesday, well all my neighbors have their cans out, so I guess today is the day. And finally I got rid of my trash.
Now, yard waste is another issue. Since I only generated my first batch of yard waste by ignoring the tall weedy grass for weeks, this was the first week I tried to use that service. Put it out Wednesday, no yard waste pickup for me. After asking a few neighbors, I found out that yard waste gets picked up on Tuesday, or Monday, or....I'll just have to look for other yard waste cans and put mine out then.
We also have curbside recycling--I'll never figure that one out, so I'll just continue to use the city recycling center and my church for recyclables.
The last issue to be discussed here is billing. I've gotten 3 bills so far, each for a higher amount. The last one said it was due on 4/25/09--and as my calendar tells me, that's tomorrow. I sent my money on Monday 4/20/09. Then could someone tell me why I got a dunning bill from them yesterday, disclaiming my dignity as a proper bill paying citizen and demanding payment immediately or they would cut off my service?
Now for a resolution to the whole month of confusion. I've tried 7 times to call them. They must have one line and one operator, because you either get a busy signal, or it rings and rings, or you are put on hold for 8 people to finish talking to this one person before you can discuss your situation with a real live person.
Why would our fair city decide this small time operation would be able to handle the service to a large city like ours? Why couldn't they just leave well enough alone? Why? Why? Why?
In defense of the waste haulers (aka trashmen!!!! there, I've said it again!), they do a neat job, and push your can away from the curb when they are finished. They don't come at the crack of dawn and make you get up to put out the can you forgot about the night before. Their trucks are nice and white, looking all professional for our surburban fair city.
If only someone would answer the phone, I'd be happy.