Changing Garbage Pickup Companies

We pay $32 a month for garbage pickup in our area. When we first moved out here in 2002 we hauled our own garbage for quite a while. Then we decided to sign up for trash pickup. We had one can for a year or two and then we ordered a second can. The cans hold 90 gallons. We pay every quarter in advance.

Some people in our area burn their trash, but we’ve never gone that route. I don’t appreciate the smell of burning plastic which travels all over the neighborhood.

A couple of weeks ago our bill arrived and there was an eight dollar extra pickup charge. Mr. A and I knew we hadn’t asked for an extra pickup, in fact, our cans were completely forgotten on two different occasions. We were supposed to get a credit for that. So I put in a call to the company, and was told that if the lids on the cans are sticking up at all, or if there is garbage alongside the cans (which we’ve never done) they charge for an extra pickup. I guess they had given us our credit for not picking us up, but they had also charged us for several extra pickups so it equaled out to 2 extra pickups.

That just didn’t set right with Mr. A. He’s the one that takes care of the garbage cans and he says there have been MANY times that the lid was sticking up a few inches. He felt that was really petty of the company. I’m pretty careful about reading contracts, and while I haven’t dug ours out, I don’t remember anything about the lid sticking up.

Mr. A said he wanted to cancel and go with the competition. I asked him to make the phone calls, so a few days ago he did.

For $35 a month, we can get two cans the same size, with no restrictions about the lid being open. Also, they don’t care if there is extra garbage. They do ask that we don’t make the cans too heavy as they said they empty the cans by hand. The company we’re with now uses a truck that picks up the cans and dumps them. I can’t envision how the new company empties 90 gallon containers by hand.

I’m not sure what Mr. A’s decision will be. This morning I went out while he was taking the garbage outside our property; he said it was really stressful worrying about the garbage.

A couple of things I think about. 1) Both companies are small mom and pop owned, 2) I think the current company could have avoided this situation by making a phone call to remind us that the garbage lids can’t be open or there is an extra charge, before charging us. Or, they could have removed the charge as a courtesy this time, and explained that this was a warning against further incidences.

Mr. A doesn’t usually get involved with our finances, so I am encouraged to see him doing something about this. He also called the current company and asked what we needed to do to cancel, and he explained to them that he thought it was kind of ridiculous to charge us for the lid being up a couple of inches. They didn’t seem to care much, so we may contract with the other company.

I think our garbage pickup cost is fairly reasonable. In the big city, most folks pay for garbage pickup along with their water bill. Although in the big city, there is curbside large trash pickup fairly often. In my mom’s neighborhood, it’s once a month. That makes it really convenient to get rid of big things if you don’t have the means to do it on your own.

Yours Truly,

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4 thoughts on “Changing Garbage Pickup Companies

  1. Hmm–at least your city HAS competition. My large city sets garbage fees and then contracts for haulers in various neighborhoods. We either haul our own trash or we pay what is demanded. However, what is demanded is $17.98 per month for a small garbage can, a large covered recycling container (provided free by the garbage company)and a large yard debris container. Everything is hauled once a week except for yard debris which is twice a month. Guess I shouldn’t complain after all.


  2. We live in the city so pick up is covered in our water bill. I must say we have the greatest guys picking up our trash. My neighbors on both sides are in their 90’s so they have handicapped service and the guys pick up their containers from their backyards. On the few occassions I have forgotten to take mine out front they always take it for me.

    With mom-and-pop operations you would think they would have a little better customer service.


  3. That’s outrageous. If they’re going to gouge you for having the lid slightly open, they need to paint a statement to that effect on the trashcan lids. The City of Phoenix indeed does state its rules ON THE GARBAGE CAN. Ditto the blue recycling barrels.

    LOL! Sounds like your mom-and-pop providers have set their 2009 goal: get out of the trash collection business.


  4. @Grace – that’s a good point, there is a competing company.

    @Debtfree2009 – Your city workers sound awesome! I remember when I was a young child ours were pretty nice about waiting while my mom and my two sisters would be running out to the curb when we’d forget the night before.

    @Funny – heh, yes, sounds like it!

    Thanks all for visiting and commenting!


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