Trouble with your Waste Collection Service? Here is what I did

When it comes to waste collection, most people never have to think twice about their service. Instead, they put their trash on the curb and wait for it to be removed on the appropriate day.

Easy enough, right?

Obviously, at least in this regard, I am not most people. For one reason or the next, I have had issues with my waste collection company from day one. Unfortunately, things have gotten worse over the past couple of months.

From my point of view, there are two issues with the service in my area:

  • Poor customer service
  • Disregard for my property, leading to a negative financial impact

First off is the customer service experience. From the team that comes to collect my trash to the representatives at the company’s call center, nobody is willing to help.

This year alone, I have called with a complaint on at least seven different occasions. Every time, it is the same thing: we are sorry to hear that and we will have a supervisor call you back within 48 to 72 hours to resolve the issue.

Do you think I ever hear back? Of course not. Instead, they simply go about wasting my time and hope the problem goes away.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to the real issue: the negative financial impact.

The poor service provided by my waste collection service has cost me money in two ways:

1. Rather than pickup all the trash, heavier items are continually left behind. I would not have a problem with this if I were not allowed to leave these items on the curb for pickup. However, according to the company’s website, everything put out for pickup day meets the guidelines.

The result: when working on a home improvement project, I was forced to rent a dumpster which cost me more than $200.

2. Three garbage cans have been mangled this year. Over the course of roughly six months, they have managed to dismantle three cans to the point of no return. From cracked sides to crushed lids to broken wheels, things go from bad to worse every week.

I don’t mind replacing my garbage can here and there, but not every other month.

The result: three new garage cans purchased at a price of $24.97 each.

When you add up these numbers, you will see that their negligence has cost me approximately $275 in less than half a year.

And here is the real kicker: I am paying for the service, like everybody else, month after month.

Here is what I Did

While there is no “real” solution to this problem, I took three steps to do my best in resolving the issue:

1. Contacted my township to file a formal complaint. From there, they contacted the waste management company to let them know that the service in the area has not been up to par.

Note: my contact at the township noted that I was not the only resident complaining. No surprise there.

2. Continue to call the company once a week to voice my concerns. Is this a waste of time? To this point, the answer appears to be yes. That being said, it makes me feel better while forcing the company to note my account of the problems.

3. Requested a refund for the cost of the garbage cans. There is nothing I can do about the money spent on a dumpster. There is nothing I can do about the monthly service fee I pay. But according to the few reps I have spoken with, a refund for the price of the cans is doable. The only bad thing is that it is hinged on actually speaking with somebody who can issue the refund.

Final Thoughts

Keep your fingers crossed that you never have to deal with this type of situation. It is not the end of the world, but it definitely causes problems and costs me money from time to time. Worse yet, there are others in my area facing the same issue.

If you do find yourself in this spot, it is my hopes that my experience will provide you with some basic guidance in resolving the dispute.

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