Overflowing Garbage before Pickup: Who to Call?

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Overflowing Garbage before Pickup: Who to Call?

Staff Writer · Sep 15, 2010

It’s implied by your lease agreement, if it’s not written, that your landlord will take care of garbage pickup. Your landlord won’t literally pick up your garbage for you, but they will deal with the city, or a private collection company on your behalf. It’s a sanitary issue, and a crucial part of making the premises healthy to live in. If garbage is overflowing before pick up, then consider these solutions:

Talk to Your Landlord

The first person to talk to is your landlord. Making sure that the garbage is picked up in a timely manner is part of the duties and responsibilities of your landlord. When they make calls to the city or a private company, they’ll have more clout to get the job done than you would, because they own the property. When you talk to your landlord, try not to be confrontational. Simply notify him and follow up with another phone call if nothing gets done. If it’s a recurring problem, then it’s time to notify him in writing. In the letter, document the dates when there were no garbage pickups as well as the dates you’ve notified him about the situation. That should get his attention, and you’ll have documentation in case the landlord has no intention of resolving the issue.

Talk to the Collection Company

If your landlord is unavailable or unresponsive to your calls about garbage pickup, then you can also try talking to the collection company. You may not be able to accomplish much, other than notifying them of a problem, because you’re not the landlord. With a little detective work though, you may get vital information. Ask lots of question. Perhaps the collection company did not collect garbage from the dumpster, because the landlord has not paid his bills to the company. That’s important to note, because that means the problem may be around for a while. You can then make other plans for your garbage, such as going to the local dump yourself, or setting it out on the curb for the city to pick up. That doesn’t solve the stench from the overflowing garbage though, and the risk of attracting pests.

Talk to the City

The problem may be with the city itself. Maybe there is a shortage of workers, a bad weather storm or something else that prevents them from picking up the garbage on time. Call to find out whether there are any problems picking up the trash in your neighborhood, and what the solutions to those problems are. Notify your landlord of what you’ve learned and ask him to notify the other tenants so that everyone can try to minimize the amount of garbage they put on the curb until the issues are resolved.

When you don’t see any progress on your landlord’s part, and the city isn’t helpful, then it’s time to talk to the media. A news story can do wonders in motivating everyone involved to get their act together. It may be your best means of seeing action to the garbage pickup problem.

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