The idea of bulk trash pickup is good, however, it may be the worst resource since the invention of Clippy.
Okay, maybe it's not as terrible as Microsoft's Clippy, but I'm a little bias as the owner of a hauling company. The biggest issue I have with bulk trash pickup is scheduling. In all honesty, city operated bulk pickup services have their place -- and they can be useful -- if you follow the guidelines. Here's a breakdown of a few cities throughout the valley and what you need to know for pickup.
Looks like Phoenix’s experiment with On Call Bulk Trash pick up was a major fail. They attempted a new program that would allow residents to schedule bulk trash pick up 4 times a year. Somehow, they thought this would reduce cost, add fewer miles to dump trucks and reduce illegal dumping.
We’re sure their pilot program saw the same problems other cities have faced. Like piles of junk at every house but only 4 pick ups scheduled on that road. More illegal dumping because residents didn’t want to deal with the hassle of scheduling. The expense of educating residents, on the change of policy, combined with the amount of mistakes made equals more work, more miles, and more money.
So they are sticking with a scheduled pick up service and since they cover such a large portion of the Valley, if you live in Phoenix you can have some of your bulk trash hauled away, very inconveniently, once every three months.
But only if it's not glass, tires, appliances, stumps, or anything over four feet long.
Another great facet of the bulk waste policy is how long you can leave you junk piled up outside. According to City ordinance, residents can put their bulk trash out 9 days early. That's 9 days of your neighborhood looking like a landfill. We’re sure its a very relaxing and peaceful drive home when you see piles of garbage at every house for over a week.
And where there are piles of junk there are treasure hunters. You know those shady looking vehicles you’ve never seen before, driving by real slow, to inspect the piles for goods. They’re great to have around. They make a nice addition to the neighborhood...
Get one free pick up every 6 weeks. But don’t think it's at your convenience. When you call to schedule a pick up they tell you when they’re available. You may have to wait weeks until they get to your area.
The requirements for pick up are like standardized test instructions. Cut fronds to 5 feet in length, stack them in the same direction. Cut carpet into 5x5 squares, stack them in a flat pile. Only do one room every 6 weeks. Use a number 2 pencil. Fill in the bubble completely. Stop when you see the word “STOP,” do not turn the page. Do not begin a new section. But hey, you passed those worthless tests, you can probably get through their list of requirements too.
Surprise has a surprise in store for their residents. They will make two service calls to your house every year! But that's not all, when they get there they will only take 10 cubic yards of waste. They pick up things such as appliances and household items, but they will not take landscaping debris such as rock or bricks.
Peoria has taken on an identical approach. Two prescheduled pick ups, only 10 cubic yards of waste and a whole list of restrictions.
What’s fun too is, you can put that trash right on the street. Not on your property or sidewalk, you have to get it all the way out there, in the curb gutter. If you live on a “high capacity road” then you get to sign a liability waiver so you can leave your junk on your lawn. Don’t make any mistakes, if you leave something in your pile that's against the rules or if you place your pile in the wrong spot, Surprise will just leave the whole thing right there but even worse, in Peoria they'll just start charging you fines and fees to pick up anything that's against the rules.
While dealing with scheduling is still tricking in these cities at least they understand the people's needs. They know twice a year bulk pick up is going to create a lot of illegal dumping. So instead of that insane policy, these cities schedule a bulk trash pick up once a month or every six weeks. Each city has slightly different rules so make sure you are familiar with them before hauling all your stuff to the curb. Here's links for city pickup in Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe.
Once a month collection typically accepts items such as yard waste, furniture, and mattresses. They don’t accept tires, hazardous materials such as paint thinners and no construction materials. Most residents are asked to set out their trash by 5:00 am at the beginning of the week their trash is supposed to be collected. If you're lucky you’ll be on the Monday route and your trash will be gone by the time you go to work. If you're not so lucky you get to drive by huge piles of junk all week until it's your turn.
Keep in mind that city disposals haul everything they pick up to the landfill. If you are eco-conscience then you might want to consider alternate routes.
In the end, having to dispose of bulk trash isn't the most glamorous tasks on the honey-do-list. Unlike household garbage there is no quick and easy way to get rid of it; it lingers just like a bad headache. The tree trimmings hang out in the yard for weeks, collecting bugs and rodents while killing the grass. Old couches and mattresses hog up the garage so you end up parking your car outside and collect a nice array burn scars on your hands. You can never be truly comfortable at home with bulk trash lying around.
We will haul away all of your bulk trash and we will even make it easy on you; you don’t have to haul everything out to the curb, leave it where it is and we’ll take it from there. And most importantly, you can rest assured that any and all items that can be recycled or donated will be. We take as little as possible to the landfill. With one call your bulk trash headache can disappear.