Monday, May 3, 2010

Garbage Day

One of the catch phrases my youngsters use is "GARBAGE DAY." It comes from this perfectly horrid 80s movie, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2." Here's the infamous clip:

Mrs. Daddy felt a little like the poor anonymous schlub to takes the bullet after an encounter with our city's fine sanitation workers. Last week, after the regular garbage pick up, she walked out to find garbage from our can strewn about the street and what had been a heretofore perfectly usable "black refuse container" was now cracked beyond use. Being the trusting fool that I am, I calmly told Mrs. Daddy to give the kindly folks at the city's collection services a call, and that all would be made right. Certainly, since the city's refuse collectors had been a wee bit clumsy with our container, we would be provided a new one. Instead Mrs. Daddy was harangued mercilessly for what seemed like an interminable part of her life as to why the city would have to charge her for a new container, and how they would have to charge her for delivery (total $95.00) and how she couldn't pay on line, she couldn't pay over the phone and if she wanted to use a credit card she would have to drive to their office.

I feel lucky that my wife didn't harm herself in a desperate attempt to gain relief from the hideousity of the bureaucrateze to which she was subjected. (Some of those words don't spell check, but dang it, they should.) Here is the helpful explanation for all of this from the city's very own web site (they're mighty proud they have a web page, even if it can't take credit cards.)

Refuse containers damaged in the regular collection process will be charged prorated replacement costs. Containers in use for more than 10 years will be replaced for $70 plus delivery, if applicable. Containers within the 10 year lifespan will cost a prorated fee based on $7 per year, plus delivery charge if applicable. Call customer service at 858-694-7000 for amount if damaged lost, or stolen container was used for less than 10 years.
That clear enough for you? To quote Iowahawk, "Pay Up Sucker."


  1. Well, this makes some sense. Why should the city provide a new container for free in exchange for a used one that is older than 10 years? If they would do that, lots of peope would deliberately wreck their containers in order to get a shiny new one. And nobody would feel responsible for keeping their garbage can in a good order. So, the costs would rise.

    Now, if the bill is 95 bucks, including delivery, that means your container was older than ten years. Getting a new one after that ime ins't too much of a hardship, imho. However, the quality of service offered by the city is subpar, of course. No online or phone payment? That's so 19th century! Hmm, if you have to pay them in cash anyway, can't you at least save on delivery, and put the can into the trunck for 70 bucks?

  2. Gray, thanks for commenting. I understand the point, it just seems unfair, because of the culpability of the city workers. Whenever I need a new cable box, the cable company just gives me one, because I am paying them. I would prefer to pay for trash pick up and have an offset of my property tax bill so that I could get better service.

  3. Just one more "pay as you go" service we used to expect when our taxes were collected.

    Gray, you tick me off with your assumption either the cost is neither a hardship or should be passed on to the client irrespective of the responsibility. Our services have been diminished while our taxes/ fees have been increased for the past 30+ years.

    With every increase, either the bureaucrats or their apologizers give another justifiable excuse.

    How about a performance that meets a standard of care in perfecting their service, rather than assuming the liability belongs on the homeowner?

  4. BTW our catch phrase is "garbage eve" for the evening before I have to run out in my jammies, because the responsible child did not perfect his duties the evening prior to the 6am pick-up.