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Talkin Trash

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Talking Trash

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On a Mission to Clean Up Tallahassee

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd have to complain about trash and litter in Tallahassee but this has become a serious issue to me in recent months. It seems nearly every road I drive down, there is litter and debris scattered about. Trash cans often left out at the road days after they've been emptied, some never making it back up to the house at all. People who pile yard waste on the curb and allow it to sit weeks until the City Crews come by to pick it up. Box-springs, furniture, old sofas, refrigerators on the side of the road and in ditches are becoming an all to familiar sight for me and frankly, I'm fed up.

I'm about to put some serious pressure on the city to clean it up. It will begin with a quiet series of letters, then blossom into a petition drive if nothing is done to heal this problem. I realize most of these violations occur in student areas, and when they go unaddressed, they get worse. Bad habits are easy to pick up.

Fines need to be imposed, and Liens placed on properties that will not comply. It is no longer accecptable for Tallahassee to be 75% clean.

As a small city, cleanliness should be a top priority.

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I'm creating this new thread from an old one to get some stories from you all on things you notice and would like to see done about litter and debris in our city.

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A few thoughts:

- since the pick-up went to once a week, I have to call at least one time per month to actually get them to come take my trash. Since my scheduled pickup is on Friday, this means that at least once a month there are 3 - 5 garbage cans sitting out on the curb from Fri - Monday or Tuesday, when they are finally emptied. I can't be the only one facing this problem.

- large trash (appliances, yard waste, etc) are supposed to be picked up at the curb every other week. This is not the case with the trash put out by people from my complex. If no one actually calls and hassles the city to come get the stuff, it just rots there on Monroe Street.

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Tallahassee has the worst waste services I've ever seen. I mean Dade County has better services than this town, and that's saying a lot! They have twice a week garbage AND recycling pickup, and they're mostly on time.

Since I've moved into a house here for the first time (as opposed to apartments), this is the first time I've had to deal with solid waste issues. Every other week, they don't pick up my trash. A few times they've picked it up a day late. Then there's the matter of the recycling bin. I've lived at my current house for 6 months, and my recycling has not been picked up ONCE! Since it's only me here, I haven't had that much stuff to recycle, and only now is my bin near full. But it's the principle of the thing!

I love Tallahassee, but its waste services absolutely stinks (pun intended). :angry:

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My trash gets picked up as long as it's at the curb, though they do have an annoying habit of putting the trash can in front of my driveway when they're done with it. They absolutely refuse to pick up the branches I put out unless there is a sizeable pile of them, my yard may have a lot of leaves in it but the stick pile is usually pretty obvious.

FF, I can definitely see how they miss your place, given that your trash cans have to be awkwardly placed on that hill....but geez, it's the same people picking it up every week and you think they'd get the idea.

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FF, I can definitely see how they miss your place, given that your trash cans have to be awkwardly placed on that hill....but geez, it's the same people picking it up every week and you think they'd get the idea.

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I don't like the City's new once a week pick-up schedule either. Sometimes I get missed but when I've called to complain they've always responded within a couple of hours & picked up my trash so I'll give them credit for at least responding.

Rachiroo, They do the same thing to me! I put my cans off to the side yet when I get home they're in the middle of the driveway...Why do they do that? :angry: Arghh!

Another huge pet-peeve of mine is all the litterbugs we seem to have in this town! I see it happening all the time & I'm not just talking about a gum wrapper or cigarette, even though I don't like that either. I've see whole bags from fast food joints thrown out of car windows plus baby diapers, soft drink & water bottles & cans & once even an entire bag of houshold garbage. Some people just don't seem to care about the place they live, their neighbors or the environment.

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Another huge pet-peeve of mine is all the litterbugs we seem to have in this town! I see it happening all the time & I'm not just talking about a gum wrapper or cigarette, even though I don't like that either. I've see whole bags from fast food joints thrown out of car windows plus baby diapers, soft drink & water bottles & cans & once even an entire bag of houshold garbage. Some people just don't seem to care about the place they live, their neighbors or the environment.

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UPdate: 1.03.07

For those of you curious about what I've been up to with this subject, I've been in contact with the City regarding my concerns. I've since received a call back from Dee Crumpler who assured me the city would send a crew out to look at the concerns I outlined to him and he also gave me an interesting tid-bit of information.

Apparently, there is an ordinance that many may not be aware of, but it requires trashcans to be away from the road and back near the residence the evening of pickup. I was told Reginald Owfani is over this particular division and that repeat violators ought to be reported because they will be subject to a $35.00 Service Premium on their bills. That's a monthly fee.

It seems since the city canceled their "back-door" service this has been a growing problem, this is why this fee was initiated.

I also made Mr. Crumpler aware of the littering which he mentioned is also one of his "Pet-peeves" and he said the city is taking action on that issue "as we speak". According to him, the problems seem to be concentrated in student housing areas, yet he doesn't want to place blame solely on the student because he recognizes there are many adults his age and older that don't have the know-how or desire to protect the beauty of the community.

I'll keep a close eye on things for the next couple of weeks to see if anything improves along the corridors I mentioned to him. He said he would make sure the 4 refrigerators I saw in a ditch on "Overstreet Street" near Hayden Road are removed ASAP, as well as some mattresses and furniture on a neighboring street. He calls such items, "White Waste" and said they should not be placed outside properties as they pose a safety risk to little children and are especially harmful to the environment and the overall look of the neighborhood.

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UPdate: 1.03.07

I'll keep a close eye on things for the next couple of weeks to see if anything improves along the corridors I mentioned to him. He said he would make sure the 4 refrigerators I saw in a ditch on "Overstreet Street" near Hayden Road are removed ASAP, as well as some mattresses and furniture on a neighboring street. He calls such items, "White Waste" and said they should not be placed outside properties as they pose a safety risk to little children and are especially harmful to the environment and the overall look of the neighborhood.

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Except that the Tallahassee City Gov site says specifically:

Large items that cannot be placed into your garbage barrel including appliances, furniture, mattresses, lamps, bikes, chairs, tables, swing sets (disassembled), plastic pools, barbecue grills and others are considered Bulky Items.

For residential customers living in detached houses, mobile homes, many town homes, duplexes, triplexes and quadraplexes, bulky items are picked up every other week at curbside according to your red/blue week schedule. Download a 2008 Red/Blue week calendar (151 kb PDF). Don't know your schedule? Go to YOU Online to look up your schedule by address or account number.

Place your bulky items at the curb by 6:30 a.m. on your collection day. The maximum size for bulk piles is six feet long, four feet high and four feet deep.

Which suggests, at least to me, that these items should simply be placed on the curb for pickup. Note that it says when they should be placed by, but no comment is made about NOT placing these items out early.

from http://www.talgov.com/you/solid/bulky.cfm

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Bulky items and yard trash are supposed to be picked up on a regular schedule both in the city and in county but I've found from personal experience that such pickups are sporadic and in many instances, calls to the trash folks themselves at Waste Management have to be made to get it picked up. This is a problem on their end that I haven't heard one way or another if it's being addressed. It sounds to me that the drivers of the trucks for those routes just are skipping places at random to get off work earlier or not having to stay later. IMHO it's an employee issue.

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I wonder how they know who is leaving their trash cans out? I live in a quadplex and the trash cans are put on the curb near my driveway for the whole building. However, they are usually left there until I get the energy to move all of the trashcans (usually about four or five of them). I rather not be charged a fee because of my neighbors.

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FL interesting stuff from Dee Crumpler. Keep us informed on his promises to you about the trash etc. I say this b/c I believe based on his jobs: ex-dog catcher, now working for COT in some area of code enforcement, school board member and his past bid to run for County Commissioner, he may in the near future run for another office. If he does or doesn't follow up on your concerns that would be nice to know come election time.

I generally put all types of stickers on our trash can, so I know which one is ours. Sometimes they come off. I think currently I have an Apple sticker on it.

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I don't know which can is mine. :cry: I checked the calendar thing they sent out and I didn't see a can number on it.

Just no one call me in and I should be ok. :ph34r:

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Hayden > Overstreet > Rivoli > BelleView

Just one Block

One good thing to report, the 3 refriderators were removed from Overstreet St. Please note, however, they left a little something behind:

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But let's start at the beginning of my tour where I saw a mattress that has been on the side of the road for quite some time now:

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Oh... and a pull-out sofa bed next to it:

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How about the piece of a couch and broken satellite dish across the street:

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The thing that has begun to really bother me, are the large garbage cans being left on the edge of the street. Sometimes in the middle of the street, sometimes knocked over. If the ordinance requires cans to be near the dwelling the night of pickup, I believe each of the following people are in violation:

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So you may be wondering, why do I care? Well, Tallahassee prides itself on being an earth friendly, clean community. Keeping Tallahassee beautiful has become a catch phrase. There's a push to reduce the brain drain and retain some of the students within the community. There's a desire to bring in jobs and boost economic development. There are animals who have to live with the wastes that humans leave behind. Not only are the roads very narrow in this area, making them very difficult to drive if objects obstruct the roadway, but as a result of the apparent neglect, litter has become a serious problem making it very difficult to say Tallahassee is clean, or to attract a graduate who would consider staying if the Tallahassee he/she knew while in college, was as clean as the Tallahassee you and I knew growing up here. Companies also consider how clean we are as a community when they're looking to relocate their jobs:

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This is an issue that we really need to take action on as a community. This was only one block. In the days to come I will bring more examples of how trash is truly taking over the west side of town.

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Great visuals FL to bring the point home. The residue left behind when the bulk guys picked up the fridges unfortunately is typical b/c it happens all the time in my 'hood too. While in my 'hood cans left on the side of the street isn't that common, but if you do leave you cans in the street for more than one day on my block, I'll politely slide them to right at the entrance of your driveway. That always seems to get them moved.

Also at least once a week, sometimes more b/c of the Leon High Litterbugs, I walk my block (it's short) w/gloves on picking up trash. On Saturday I found a balled up used baby diaper. I was rather puzzled by the fact that no kids on my block or surrounding area are still in diapers. Just what type of person drives down the street and ditches a used diaper?

Keep up the fight FL, but know it's a never-ending battle.

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