Contract with Waste Management : A bunch of Garbage When Size Does Matter

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by Howard Melamed

Coral Springs May 15th 2007:

A decision by Waste Management the contracted garbage collector in the City Of Coral Springs, has sent residents fuming over what they call “A bunch of Garbage.” . April 1st of this year Waste Management (WM) put on notice the entire city of Coral Springs that they will be enforcing a provision of their contract that restricts the size of trash containers to 30 gallons.  Many Coral Springs residents were using a 40 gallon trash container.  WM is enforcing the size provision apparently due to one of their employees injuring themselves lifting a 50 gallon container that one of the Coral Springs residents packed with heavy material.  The sudden move has made many Coral springs citizens enraged.

“it’s not about the size of the container” said Issie Cherep, Coral Springs resident, “It is about what you put into the container.  Now I have to replace the containers I have with  2 new ones, all because someone  lifted a container he should not have.”

“Waste Management are a bunch of idiots ” said another Coral Springs resident wishing to remain anonymous, ” Obviously none of the people that work in Waste Management had ever went to a Coral Springs High school.  There they would have learned that Volume is Gallons. IF they would have taught that to their employees the ‘Sanitation Engineer’ would have made sure not to lift a heavy container, no matter what size it is”.

“It’s a bunch of Bullshit” commented another.

How did we get into this mess? Simply put the city of Coral Springs in the  best interest of its citizens negotiated a contract with WM in which they became the exclusive garbage disposal company for residents. Then the city took it upon themselves to collect the money owed to WM in the yearly tax .  At the time it was supposed to save Coral Springs residents money. (see City Collects Money For Garbage) Instead the cost of garbage collection has increased every year, and now the citizens have to replace their current 40 gallon container with a 32 gallon one.  The total cost to residents is estimated at $480,000.  That doesn’t include the amount of garbage produced by the old garbage containers.

It is important to note that after more than 20 years of picking up trash in Coral Springs, with an average of 35,000 residences at two times a week for 20 years amounts to 72,800,000 lifts with only one injury.

In the Coral Springs City publication “Guide to Garbage and Recycling” there is a specific clause dealing with what the trash company is enforcing. An excerpt is on the right.

There is no limit to the number of cans that can be picked up.  The Garbage company must take two  cans from the side door or back door and through the trash in their truck.  Anything in excess of  two  32 gallon containers can be placed at curbside .  As well, the 32 gallon container cannot weigh more than 40 pounds each.  WM in their wisdom have decided that it is the size  that matters, and not the weight.  This has left many Coral Springs residents to ask if WM ever heard of the scientific statement ” What weighs more , a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?” .  Residents are also asking  why did this one employee decide to lift something that was too heavy for him to lift. Some say it was  probably because WM employees may not be very well trained at their jobs.

Another clause in their contract forces WM to pick up the two garbage container at the side of the house ( Side Door Pickup) and bring them to the street for pickup. Then they are to return them back to the side of the house.  This is rarely done, and for the most part requires the resident to actually call WM to remind them of their negligence. One city commissioner said that he was not aware of the fact that WM does not do this as his garbage is always collected with never a problem. He also said that WM was fully aware of the address to his house. It is calculated that if WM had to enforce this provision of the contract it would cost them millions of dollars over the term of the contract.  By not enforcing this provision WM has in fact saved millions which they have not reimbursed the Coral Springs residents, and is not pursued on behalf of the citizens by the city commissioners. .

Perhaps it is time that the city actually force WM to meet every provision in the contract in the same way they are forcing its citizens to do the same. Anything less is just a bunch of garbage.


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GARBAGE   Coral Springs wants us to live with it “  Coral Springs makes it hard to throw away garbage. In the land of buying in bulk, we have Costco, sams club BJ’s etc. everything we do is now is  bought in bulk. We just can’t dispose of it in bulk, garbage will be backing up or we will need a lot more pales at the curb Coral Springs, where every house will bring 4 small garbage pales to the curb   thanks to waste management and Coral Springs as they shrink the size of our garbage cans, not mention that we pay for side door pick up. 2 garbage cans only….  We will all to wake up  10 minutes earlier on garbage day “ time to take the garbage to the curb” Every Monday and Thursday I take my 2 small white garbage bags and place each one of them In a garbage can. It is gray 40 gallon pale  and has wheels the kind you can roll to the garbage truck. Up until now, the garbage removal team has not been moving the garbage cans but just removing the 2 plastic bags from each garbage can and putting it the garbage truck, not a difficult task.. I have received 3 notices that I am in violation of the garbage disposal act of 2007 and must reduce my garbage can down to the new regulated size or face living with my garbage.   Now here is the funny part, I happened to be visiting my father in West Palm Beach… WPB is increasing there size of the garbage cans to deal with the bulk world we now live in ….     Howard S.

I was very heated after the garbage men did not empty one of my trash cans (for the second week in a row).  I finally figured it out after seeing my neighbors’ trash cans not emptied and reading the article on “” what was going on.  Just unbelievable.  Its not like we have those big 50 gallon “gray” monsters.  I drove around my neighborhood and noticed that, like me, many people have the “regular” looking Rubbermaid rolling green trash cans (Roughneck).  It just seems crazy to me that the city agreed to this.  They obviously just did not realize that they were excluding probably more than 50% of the type of trash receptacles that residents are (or were) using…..

My question is how do I throw out my “oversized” trash can because those 2 big dummies that come every Monday and Thursday won’t take it.    – Robert H.

Don’t you just love how they won’t take a 40 gallon can with 10lbs worth of stuff in it but they’ll take a refrigerator!  David F

You know what? Coral Springs is an interesting place in which to live. I moved here from New Jersey (via Los Angeles) roughly 3 years ago. Our garbage men were so great we used to tip them 100 dollars at Christmas time.  Having great garbage men is like living with great Police Officers and Firefighters: they can really get you out of a big mess in a hurry.

I’m also a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman. As a byproduct of that time in service, I’ve lived all over the world.  I’ve lived in places such as: Albania, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Tunisia to name a few. I even lived on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic once, the U.S.S. Saipan, for 6 months. (Think 2/8!)

Never, in all my travels, have I had so much trouble with the general service industry as I have since moving to Coral Springs. I’ve got a self serving Home Owner’s Association (‘I know you pay the mortgage, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tell you how to live!), Mailmen who don’t want to deliver mail (‘I won’t deliver your mail if I have to actually get out of my car!), retail services who laugh at the mere mention of the words “Customer Service” (Price match? Who cares what the policy on the wall says!), state and local officials who are in the property tax collection business (We’re not business friendly, but we’ll take your property tax money instead!), Teachers who don’t really teach anymore (Don’t worry about the library kids, Wikipedia will give you the answers!), and now garbage men who don’t want to take, well, my garbage.

This is the first time in 30 years, 5 states, and several countries that I’ve ever been told “I’m sorry sir, but your garbage men just realized their job involves heavy lifting.”  I wasn’t asked to buy new cans with a “please”, a “thank you”, or even a smile, and I certainly wasn’t offered any sort of compensation for the trash cans I have to replace.

Did anyone check the price of replacement before making the decision to standardize the use of 32 gallon cans? I took a trip to Home Depot this weekend to buy new trash cans. I can either buy the cheaper of the bunch for about 30 dollars or I can buy a “decent” can for as much as 90 dollars. Who decided it was in my best interests to spend 60 – 200 dollars without asking me first? Why isn’t Waste Management helping to offset the cost?  Since they won’t even walk 15 feet up my driveway to pick up my trash cans, let alone around the side of my house, they’ve got to be saving some money in time and effort. Why don’t they give back some of the money they haven’t earned?

Still, I don’t see anyone dropping off new can.

Sadly, this isn’t only a “Coral Springs problem”, but a smaller indication of what I consider to be a national epidemic. We live in a time when everyone feels entitlement to success without hard work, comfort without sacrifice, and apathy toward anything that’s not immediately easy.

We’ve all become “Google-ized.” We have somehow come to feel we’re entitled to the results of the hard work of others without any personal effort. We expect easy answers at our fingertips, but seem to have forgotten how to research things ourselves. (Honestly, when’s the last time you actually opened a book that DIDN’T have the TV schedule in it?)

Why should I work hard for something when I can simply complain and take the easy route? What happened to people putting in more work being the ones who got ahead?

We’re a nation of spoiled brats and it’s only getting worse.

This 32 gallon enforcement is a perfect example. Trash has been picked up tens of thousands of times over the last 20 years, but one foolish employee ruins things for everyone. If you’re too stupid or too weak to perform the task, why are you on the back of the truck? At what point did political correctness and sensitivity towards someone’s feelings become more important than every day common sense and a solid work ethic? Why is it we’re rolling over and agreeing to pay the same pay for less work, yet no one seems to care? What is wrong with people that make them think this kind of thing is acceptable?  What I’d like to see is for everyone to shut up and get back to work. George Bush isn’t ruining America: lazy and selfish American’s are. Our constant race to see how low the standard can get and still be accepted is ruining us. Why don’t we get back to taking pride in who we are, what we do, working hard to be good at it, and equal pay for equal work?

Hey, the lotto is up to 19 million dollars this week. Maybe I can complain about how I feel discriminated against by the system, since I’ve never won before. If that works, I’m buying a remote island and calling it “Thomas Paine Land.”

Anyone else want to live there with me?

Thanks for listening,

Alan Eosso

Angry Coral Springs Resident

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