Trashcart blues, part one

There’s just bound to be a part two of this saga. Yesterday was trash-collection day. Close to suppertime, there was a horrendous noise out front. I was in a back room, about to come out in cart-hauling duds. When I got to the kitchen window, I saw an out-of-state moving company’s flatbed and giant trailer outfit parked out front and taking up a good chunk of the block’s street frontage. One guy was wheeling the cart up the block; the other guy was tramping through the front flower beds. It wasn’t until they’d skedaddled, which they did right quick, that we discovered that the street side of the cart was crunched in and the lid was torn and hanging half off. The cart had been artfully arranged so that damage was not visible from the house side.

This morning first thing, I dutifully called Solid Waste Services, using the number published at the website. After sitting through a lengthy menu in both English and Spanish (the house has a rotary-dial telephone; don’t laugh), I was told by the live person that the number was wrong. She furnished another and would not make a transfer bypassing the menu at the new number. At the new number, the person picking up the call after recorded recitation of yet another long menu said that the first number was the one that should have been called. When told that the person at the first number said otherwise, she said that the person was wrong and put the call on hold for about five minutes. When she returned, she said she would transfer the call. I begged for a direct number or to bypass the menu. She wouldn’t give the extension, but her transfer did bypass the menu and the person responding did give her name (althougn not her direct number or extension).

Nothing more will happen until next collection day, a week from yesterday. There is no transaction or work-order number. The instructions are to put trash out in two 30-gallon plastic bags with a note affixed, here where we know that there are opossums, foxes, and raccoons and where some report rats and coyotes. If we do get a new cart it will be one of the newer “60-gallon” carts, the ones that cheat on capacity with rounded corners replacing the honest square ones and that have the badly designed push handles and that unstable, tippy quality built in. The website would lead one to believe that there may be an attempt to “repair” the cart or to charge for a replacement. I can hardly wait to see what happens.

1 Comment so far

  1. Julio (unregistered) on January 11th, 2006 @ 9:22 am

    If you press Solid Waste Services you may be able to get an “honest square cart” instead of the 60 gallon kind. When my cart was stolen (yes, someone stole my city-supplied trash can – around the same time that someone ran over my recycle bucket) I called and got a cart identical to my previous one.

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