Waste Management

Does anyone know whether the township ever had some agreement with Waste Management that established certain requirements -- like mandating that WM would do bulk pickup as part of its service?  Within the last six months, WM changed the service and eliminated free bulk pickup.  I've asked the town this question, but haven't received an answer.  DPW says no, but I'm thinking any agreement would have been arrived at years ago and may be not be remembered.  


Elle_Cee said:

Does anyone know whether the township ever had some agreement with Waste Management that established certain requirements -- like mandating that WM would do bulk pickup as part of its service?  Within the last six months, WM changed the service and eliminated free bulk pickup.  I've asked the town this question, but haven't received an answer.  DPW says no, but I'm thinking any agreement would have been arrived at years ago and may be not be remembered.  

In Maplewood WM will pick up 1 bulk item per week from your household, if you contract your residential service with them. It takes creative discarding but it is an option. I would prefer 2 days a year for more items but I don't make the rules. 


WM has changed the bulk pickup arrangement.  They are now charging outrageous prices for bulk pickup.  There are discussions on Facebook and Nextdoor about it.  I first noticed the change on the WM website; when I entered my address, bulk pickup was listed as unavailable, which surprised me.  I've exchanged many phone calls with WM, including calls to corporate, confirming the change.  I won't go into the long and boring story of my conversations, but when I saw multiple people complaining on Nextdoor about the price increase, I thought I'd try to find out if the town ever had some sort of basic agreement with the garbage companies that service Maplewood.  


Elle_Cee said:

WM has changed the bulk pickup arrangement.  They are now charging outrageous prices for bulk pickup.  There are discussions on Facebook and Nextdoor about it.  I first noticed the change on the WM website; when I entered my address, bulk pickup was listed as unavailable, which surprised me.  I've exchanged many phone calls with WM, including calls to corporate, confirming the change.  I won't go into the long and boring story of my conversations, but when I saw multiple people complaining on Nextdoor about the price increase, I thought I'd try to find out if the town ever had some sort of basic agreement with the garbage companies that service Maplewood.  

Thanks. I was unaware. I am in process of canceling my WM acct now.  The township renegotiated our contract without our input it appears. 


Garbage disposal has always been the most aggravating thing in maplewood for me. 
It’s time to switch to another company.   If it means putting out your garbage to the curb like all other towns do, then that’s the answer. On top of the taxes you still have to pay for garbage disposal? 


But that's my question to the Township, and I can't get an answer.  Does the Township negotiate anything with the regular garbage pickup companies, or are residents, as DPW put, free to hire any hauler we want without any official Maplewood involvement?  


I seem to recall that when the town discontinued scavenger night, we were promised free bulk pick up by our trash hauler in exchange for losing scavenger night.  That was many years ago.  I don’t know if anything was ever put in writing or if the agreement is no longer in effect.  I did speak with a TC member about it.  This member stated that the town does not have a contract with either waste hauler since home owners contract individually.  This is true but does not address the question of whether trash haulers were told to provide free bulk pick up as a condition of serving Maplewood customers.  Vic or Nancy might remember.  The other TC members and current town employees overseeing trash hauling likely were not in town when this occurred.


Thank you, Joan.  You're right, it's not a contract issue.  It's more about whether there was some sort of handshake agreement.  I would think it would be memorialized in the Township minutes, but they aren't available on the town's website.  I have tried to ask the question of the township committee and will continue to try.  I was told about scavenger night -- sounds like a pretty amazing community event, like the Morrow Sale, but free.  The worst part of what WM has done is that they sprang it on us.  When I called customer service, I was told that a letter had gone out to the residents, but none of the neighbors I asked had received it.  When I moved up the ladder of customer service to the corporate number, they admitted that there was no letter.  The letter the initial customer service rep referred to had been sent to Pennsylvania.  I, too, plan to switch to Waste Industries.  


Elle_Cee said:

I, too, plan to switch to Waste Industries.

If you do, you may want to consider their by-the-bag tag program. We pay $47.49 quarterly for twice-weekly pickup instead of the normal $95. I forget exactly how much the tags cost,* but as empty-nesters and composters we probably average less than one bag of trash a week (which we can put out on either Monday or Thursday), and I'd estimate our total quarterly cost at $60, saving us $140 a year.

* You order as many as you want (I usually get about 20 at a time) from Waste Industries by phone, and they arrive by mail a few days later.


There are only two companies that are approved to provide regular waste collection in Maplewood, which are Waste Industries and Waste Management. This is totally separate from recycling (which is a long and sordid tale about organized crime and collusion).

Using unauthorized waste collectors is prohibited by Maplewood ordinance. 

However, the ordinance does not detail the level of service required by the waste collector.

https://ecode360.com/14596746

The requirements of waste collection are probably written into the bid / contract that the Township has with the collectors.  I would call the Department of Public Services to ask if the change in service is allowed.


--- or when is the township contract up for renewal? A fall or spring "scavenger night' would be welcome. The complaint about such nights was that people would drive through the town and pull out "valuable" stuff and it would end up in garage sales or Ebay.  So what?


Maplewood did away with the two bulk pick-up days per year.  Now they have two bulk drop-off days at the recycling center on Boyden Ave.  I think cost was the issue, the bulk days were paid for by the Township.


OK . so as long as you can get it to Boyden, they will take it?


Thanks for the tip, Dave Schmidt.  yahooyahoo, where is this official approval of the garbage haulers documented?  The DPW assistant told me that residents can hire any hauler they choose, as if there were numerous haulers out there vying for business in Maplewood.  Formerlyjerseyjack, there is, apparently, no contract with either Waste Management or Waste Industries.  


Day 2 trying to cancel service with WM. They were supposed to call me back yesterday and today they're playing the it's not my job let me transfer you to hold for 40 minutes game. Apparently my route was sold to Interstate Waste so I have to contact yet another department.


the18thletter said:

Day 2 trying to cancel service with WM. They were supposed to call me back yesterday and today they're playing the it's not my job let me transfer you to hold for 40 minutes game.

Time to send them a certified letter. 

How do they bill you?  If it’s through a credit card, maybe the card company can help you. Especially if you’ve documented an official cancellation request. It will probably take less time than being on hold. 


mrincredible said:

Time to send them a certified letter. 

How do they bill you?  If it’s through a credit card, maybe the card company can help you. Especially if you’ve documented an official cancellation request. It will probably take less time than being on hold. 

I pay through my bank bill pay and they owe me money otherwise I would just stop paying and let them figure out I cancelled them. 


Maybe tell them that you're moving within town and you need to transfer service.


Finally got through on the online chat. Should have tried that first apparently. WM is Def aware of customers leaving as they offered to adjust the price that 3 days ago they told was the lowest they go. A day late and a dollar short trying to retain the contract.


yahooyahoo said:

Maplewood did away with the two bulk pick-up days per year.  Now they have two bulk drop-off days at the recycling center on Boyden Ave.  I think cost was the issue, the bulk days were paid for by the Township.

This does not work for those of us who do not drive and those of us who are unable to lift and/ or fit bulk items into their vehicle.  They still need curb side pick up of bulk items.


Is there any way to get Waste Industries to drop to a once-per-week pickup? I really don't produce enough garbage for twice a week. @the18thletter are you switching to WI, or a different company?


joan_crystal said:

This does not work for those of us who do not drive and those of us who are unable to lift and/ or fit bulk items into their vehicle.  They still need curb side pick up of bulk items.

Joan, somehow our town which started to focus on senior issues about ten years ago has forgotten about us concerning this important issue.

Hopefully, they will not decide to have us "schlep" our garbage cans down our 100 foot+ driveway to the curb. BTW-"bulk" pick up did cease a while ago but you could still put out smaller/lighter junk items once each week. I don't when WM stopped this service but as recently as last fall, our neighbors put out small/lift able items like office chairs, etc and they were carted away.


Maybe this has to do with confusion about what constitutes a "bulk item."  However, when I asked customer service for a quote on how much it would cost for WM to pick up a small end table, I was told $75.  


flatbush said:

Joan, somehow our town which started to focus on senior issues about ten years ago has forgotten about us concerning this important issue.

Hopefully, they will not decide to have us "schlep" our garbage cans down our 100 foot+ driveway to the curb. BTW-"bulk" pick up did cease a while ago but you could still put out smaller/lighter junk items once each week. I don't when WM stopped this service but as recently as last fall, our neighbors put out small/lift able items like office chairs, etc and they were carted away.

This question came up during the Zero Waste discussion on zoom.  It seems likely that seniors will be exempt from dragging there trash cans to the curb if we switch to curbside pick up.  That said, most seniors I know have trash cans with wheels so this is less of a problem.  There is an opening on the Seniors Advisory Committee if you are a senior who lives in Maplewood and would like to be part of the solution.  Send me PM if you are interested.


We all need to prepare ourselves for trash service to get more expensive and less accommodating.  For decades we looked the other way when it comes to trash, caring only about price.  Now we have to think about where it goes and how it gets there, and that is going to cost money.  To me the idea that Maplewood has two companies is ridiculous.  Two sets of big diesel trucks rolling down every street in town twice a week is double the necessary pollution.


ridski said:

Is there any way to get Waste Industries to drop to a once-per-week pickup? I really don't produce enough garbage for twice a week. @the18thletter are you switching to WI, or a different company?

The WI website says once a week is $85 per quarter.

https://www.waste-industries.com/residential.html

If you don’t have much garbage, the tag program is hard to beat. (And you still get the convenience of putting your garbage out on either of the two pickup days in any given week.) I don’t see where the website mentions it, but it does exist.


The problem with tag service if you have little trash is that it may take several weeks to have a full bag.  In the meanwhile, organic waste may be piling up in your house.  Not everything can go on a compost heap should you have one.  


ridski said:

Is there any way to get Waste Industries to drop to a once-per-week pickup? I really don't produce enough garbage for twice a week. @the18thletter are you switching to WI, or a different company?

I went with WI. They're less costly and provide 4 item a month bulk pick up on last Saturday of each month. 


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

OK . so as long as you can get it to Boyden, they will take it?

Yes, but as some others mentioned that's not convenient for those that don't or can't drive.


Elle_Cee said:

Thanks for the tip, Dave Schmidt.  yahooyahoo, where is this official approval of the garbage haulers documented?  The DPW assistant told me that residents can hire any hauler they choose, as if there were numerous haulers out there vying for business in Maplewood.  Formerlyjerseyjack, there is, apparently, no contract with either Waste Management or Waste Industries.  

I guess it's possible they don't have a contract but they must comply with Township ordinance requiring backyard pick-up if they service residents in Maplewood.  This probably is enough to scare away most haulers.


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