Friday, December 21, 2007

Where to Stash Your Trash

Kevin Morley, head of the Deed Restriction Committee, has been digging into our trash agreement with Waste Management to determine what exactly is the arrangement for pickup at the curb vs. at your garage. You'll be interested to hear his report:

Many of our residents have been unaware of the services provided to Kings Forest under our contract with Waste Management (WM). That’s why we included a special flyer with the Woodnote last week. We felt it was particularly timely this time of year with so much leaf and yard cleanup going on.

Under our contract with WM, we pay a bit extra for back-door pickup of ALL garbage, including yard waste. More importantly, there is no limit to how much can be picked up at once. This is a significant improvement over the standard City of Houston service, and it's intended to keep our streets clear of garbage cans and piles of leaf bags.

However, many residents called or emailed this week to tell me that Waste Management (WM) won’t pick up all their bags, especially if they’re not on the street.

Yesterday I spoke directly to one of the WM truck drivers and to one of the jitney drivers. They said they thought we had a limit of ‘about ten bags’. I called WM yesterday, and again today, and finally got through to the right person. We discussed this issue in length, and she agreed that Kings Forest has NO LIMIT on yard waste pickup at the garage.

WM has promised to re-issue pickup instructions to all their drivers and highlight that we have no limit. However, they have asked that we consider the reality of their operations this time of year. While we may have the contractual right to insist that every single bag be picked up, some homes have up to 100 bags at a time. It is simply impossible for WM to handle such a huge peak in service requirements and still collect everybody’s ‘normal’ garbage. They do assign an extra truck to us this time of year, but occasionally that’s not enough.

So, if you have that much yard waste, please understand that they will do their best, and have a little patience. But PLEASE don’t put the bags on the street. The guys will pick it up as soon as they can. They also promised to try extra hard on Monday (24th) to make sure everything is clean for Christmas.

More importantly, all the independent yard maintenance contractors have the ability to haul this waste away for you. Please consider asking them to haul away YOUR yard waste on big clean-up days, so you and your neighbors don’t have to look at all those bags.

If you just have a dozen bags or so, and they don’t get picked up, call 713-686-6666 and ask for Customer Service. Request that they come back to pick up the bags. If they say there’s a limit, ask them to pull up the Service Area listing for the Kings Forest Community Association, where they can verify no limit.

Your help and cooperation is much appreciated. If you want a copy of the ‘garbage rules’, email me at and I will email them to you.