Sunday, Aug 25, 2019
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Garbage collection is a mess

Dear Editor,

I write after a number of weeks of frustration regarding the garbage collection in Graham Avenue, where I presently reside.

Prior to the recent change in contracts Graham Avenue (also known as Graham Acres and adjacent to Blair Estates) was served efficiently and well in the early hours of Monday between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. It was dependable and orderly.

Since the change was introduced and new contracts were issued and additional garbage trucks were assigned, it has been a nightmare. I note some of the salient points pertinent in our experience during the past weeks.

To begin, we went 13 days without any garbage collection. On the 14th day, a garbage truck came and collected the garbage. The very next day, another garbage truck from a different company came. All of the bins in the neighborhood were empty. I personally talked with the driver of the garbage truck, who told me he was following orders and I should call the office. I asked the driver if he was aware that garbage was collected the day before and he said no but that did not have anything to do with him.

It went another seven days without garbage collection. On the eighth day, a garbage truck came, and all garbage bins were pulled from the holding areas, as is the custom now. However, the men working on the truck told us that they were only collecting garbage from the left side of the road; even though they had pulled our bins out, they refused to empty them. My two neighbors on my left and right also spoke with the men, asking them to take their garbage, to no avail.

I’ve purchased gallons of bleach and Pine Sol to help deal with the stench.

On March 18, I decided to join other residents from Graham Acres who had called in a complaint to the Ministry of the Environment and Housing. I spoke first with a director in the Department of Environmental Health Services. He assured me that he would look into it, find out what the problem was and call me back. He never did. I then called the Ministry of the Environment and Housing and spoke to the permanent secretary. I repeated the details over again. She was empathetic, listened and offered to help. She promised to call me back. She did. She offered to look into the matter and assured me that a garbage truck would come to my area today.

On the afternoon of March 18 a garbage truck came through Graham Avenue. We were all excited, until they informed those of us living on the right side of the road that they were only there to collect garbage from the residents on the left side of the road. My neighbor rolled her garbage bin over to the left side of the road, hoping she could out-maneuver the garbage collectors, only to have the men on the garbage truck roll her full and running-over garbage bin right back to her side of the road, and there they left it.

Graham Acres is not a large area, and it is a very small and narrow road. It doesn’t seem to make sense to have two garbage collection companies working in this one small area. It is nearing three weeks since garbage was collected on the right side of Graham Avenue.

I’m writing this letter in the hope that those of us who live on the ‘right side of the road’ can be served in the same way as those who live 15 feet across the road from us.

— Reginald W. Eldon

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