January 2, 2024 at 6:29 pm

Trash Collectors Demanded $250 To Clear Their Yard Waste, So They Used Their Own Rules Against Them To Create More Work

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit,Unsplash/@insinuwendell

Are you ready for a great Pro Revenge stories from the pages of Reddit?

Well, you’re in for a treat!

Because this is a good one!

Check out how this person decided to deal with their waste collectors that were giving them a hard time…

The results of my yard work…

“I live in a consolidated county. That means that the city and county governments merged some years back, ostensibly to reduce administrative and infrastructure costs.

This is important, because services like fire, police, utilities, and trash pickup are now managed by former county officials, and not the city officials.

Many of these services are also much more inefficient, and some services have been “outsourced” to private companies.

Things changed a few years ago.

My “municipality” outsourced trash and yard waste pickup a few years ago, and the two companies who now do those collections are woefully inadequate, and their services cost more than when the city or county did it.

They both have similar sets of rules what can be put out for collection, take fewer types of waste away, and no longer come two days a week as the city once did, but now only come one day a week. We’re all paying more money for less service.

That’s the background. Here’s the story…

I did some yard work over the course of a couple of weekends last summer, cutting some limbs, trimming some shrubbery, and cutting down a dead tree in my backyard.

Knowing what the rules are for how much yard waste, limbs, leaves, and such can be put out, I bagged everything that was supposed to be bagged, filling up three of them.

There’s a routine to all of this.

Things like leaves and small clippings, weeds, and such. The paper bags for yard waste from the big‒box home improvement stores are what they require, so I use those. I just fill them halfway up so as to not make them too heavy for the waste collectors, even though there are no written weight restrictions. However, if a bag is “too full” they will knock it over to spill out the contents so they then don’t have to pick it up.

I cut the larger limbs down to under four feet in length, or they wouldn’t be picked up. Anything at all they can do to get out of picking something up, they will do. And they almost always leave a horrendous mess behind when they do pick things up.

The pile put out for collection is not allowed to be any wider than ten feet, nor any deeper or higher than five feet, nor may it contain any piece longer than four feet. All bags must be placed in a row, no more than three feet away from the limb pile.

They were playing by the rules…but they got some surprising news.

My pile was maybe four inches longer than the ten feet, and only because of the tiny ends of the limbs (smaller than a toothpick) hanging out of the pile. The pile was no higher than three feet, and no deeper than four feet. In other words, it fell within the size limits, except for a few twigs with leaves.

I also had the three bags, each about half full of clippings and leaves, all lined up exactly as required, and about two feet away from the main pile.

They were scheduled to come on a Tuesday, but when I got home from work that afternoon, it was all still there. There was a pre‒printed notice on my door that my pickup exceeded the proscribed size limits, and the note said that I would be required to either pay a $250 oversize load fee, or “reduce the size of the pile by half” to make it fit into the limit.

This is where the revenge comes in.

I had the next two days off, so the next morning, bright and early, I got out the hedge trimmers. I trimmed the ends of the pile back to exactly nine feet in length. After carefully laying those trimmed bits on top of the pile. I went to the backyard, where the limbs I had not trimmed up the week before were stacked for the following week’s pile, and found four long, fairly straight limbs.

They weren’t messing around anymore.

I removed all the smaller limbs and leaves from these limbs, ending up with four moderately straight poles, each about seven feet long. I marked one foot intervals on each pole in fluorescent orange paint, and stuck them in the ground, (out at the curb in the front yard) at the corners of a rectangle exactly five feet wide and ten feet long.

Got out the surveyor’s tape (bright pink plastic tape used to mark property corners) and tied it onto and around the stakes at the height of five feet. This established a visual outline of the volume I was required to stay within.

All up to code!

I made absolutely sure that everything in the pile was completely inside the poles and below five feet in height. This required adding almost two‒thirds of the remaining pile in the back yard to the stack out front, to bring it up to four feet six inches in width, four feet six inches in depth, and nine feet six inches in length. And no pieces longer than 46 inches.

The pile was almost twice as much material as before. This included some small logs, up to 4” in diameter, also each 46” long. (The limit is 5” diameter) All within the limits of 5’ x 5’ x 10’ the waste company mandates.

I carried each of the three bags of clippings to the back yard, and filled each of them up as much as possible, while still being able to fold over the tops and staple shut each bag. I also included small, 8” to 10” sections of the ends of larger limbs, for added weight.

The bags were now completely filled, and weighed more than twice what they had before. I had to use the hand truck to get them out to the curb, they were so heavy. Oh, and all the extra clippings I had generated, filled up two more bags, so the total was now five bags. The company limit.

It was time to make a call…

I then went inside, called the company, and very nicely asked that they come to pick up my yard waste, since they had not done so on Tuesday. They agreed to send out a truck and crew, and told me I would have to pay the fee.

“Come on then,” I told them.

They soon arrived, and happened to be the same crew that normally comes to my neighborhood.

I pulled a 25‒foot Stanley tape measure from my pocket, and asked them to measure the poles, to confirm that the space was within the required limits. They did so, and agreed the pile was not oversized, and proceeded to spend the next two hours manually loading it all onto their truck.

Oh, and it took both of them to manhandle each of those bags into the back of the truck too. I told them, very nicely and with a smile, that I knew what ten feet was, pointed to the fence where it was marked with orange electrical tape, and thanked them for coming to pick up my yard waste.

I think we know who won this round…

The two tired, sweaty waste disposal guys just groaned, got in their truck, and drove off. There was no extra fee added to my bill for that month. Never has been since.

Now, I know they got paid for their time, and I know that I had to do a lot of extra work on my day off, but since last July, I have not once ever had them leave so much as a single leaf on the ground in front of my house.

They had to actually do some hard work, with me standing there in shorts, smiling and drinking cold Gatorade while they were sweating.”

Let’s see how folks responded.

One person talked about their own experience with trash collectors.

Source: Reddit,Unsplash/@insinuwendell

Another TikTokker thinks this was PRO revenge.

Source: Reddit,Unsplash/@insinuwendell

This person said is was PRICELESS.

Source: Reddit,Unsplash/@insinuwendell

And this TikTokker might have just gotten an idea…

Source: Reddit,Unsplash/@insinuwendell

That was the good stuff!

Nice work!

If you liked that post, check out this post about a rude customer who got exactly what they wanted in their pizza.