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October 2, 2010

Sam Katz's Caper: Your Property is an Exception - by Margaret Ullrich


Okay.  The new garbage collection system got off to a rocky start.  Sometimes good things start out badly.  And sometimes bad starts just lead to even worse things...


Last Tuesday everybody in the neighborhood was a little nervous.  We were awaiting The New Garbage System - Day 2.  We watched the news to see how it had gone for the folks in Garden City.

Not well.

One 87-year-old citizen said the new system "Stinks".  The carts are large and awkward to move.  People who needed help had been told to call 311.  Fifty people in Garden City did just that.  

There were also clearance problems.  Well, even though it has been a milder winter than usual, it is February in Winnipeg.  We seem to have more snow than the folks in Vancouver.  Maybe the Olympics should be held here. 

There had been a poll asking folks if they were in favor of the new automated service.  Tuesday night the results were posted: 32% were in favor, 68% were not.


On Wednesday morning we listened to the CBC radio piece on the new garbage system.  The city estimated that 1 house per block had had a problem on the first day.  On February 2  9,500 homes were supposed to have been served.  By the end of the day it was estimated that 2% - that's about 200 households - did not have their garbage removed.  It also took longer than usual.  The garbage on Leila wasn't picked up until 7:30 p. m.    

The spokesperson assumed that the homeowners had not read the brochure.  He didn't explain why the collectors were so late.  What hadn't they read?  

Usually our garbage was picked up a little after 7:00 a. m.  Folks had put out their carts a little before 7:00 a.m., as requested in the brochure.  Hey, we can read.  By night the carts in our neighborhood were still standing, snow-covered and untouched.


The next day Paul and I took a walk.  Many garbage carts were still standing.  We took a peek.  They were full.  Uh, oh. 

On Thursday night, after the news, I glanced out our window and saw something sticking out of our mail box.  

It wasn't a Valentine's Day greeting.

Last week we had read that, regarding back lane collections, "There may be some exceptions to this.  If so, we will contact you."
        

We had received another copy of the Rolling out your garbage brochure.  It came with a green note which said "Your property is an exception to what is noted in the guide."

As I said last week, the brochure had said to "Place the cart on the hydro pole side of the back lane."  They didn't seem to know that many back lanes don't have a hydro pole for our guidance.  

Well, nobody cares where the hydro poll is anymore.

We're supposed to place our cart across the back lane from our property.  The fellow who's garage faces our garage - along with a few hundred other folks - is going to be responsible for clearing enough snow so that both carts can be placed against his fence.  

That's assuming they have the space to spare.

And now there's talk that the city wants to use the same system for recycling.

(Originally posted February 7, 2010)


Have a great day.  How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

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