Imagine this. You’re sitting at your kitchen table eating a leisurely breakfast when you hear the garbage truck. But wait, you think. It can’t be the garbage truck. My trash doesn’t get picked up until afternoon. They never pick it up in the morning and it’s not even out there yet. You go outside to check and notice the truck is already all the way down the street and heading out of your neighborhood. What happened?
We want to make a deal with you. You hire us to pick up your trash (or recycling or yard waste) and you put it out at the street by 7 a.m. (6 a.m. in Jackson County and some smaller contract communities or the night before if you’re in Ottawa or Kent Counties) and we’ll pick it up for you. This doesn’t mean we’ll never miss you—we all make mistakes. But if you do your part (getting it out on time), we’ll do our absolute best to do ours.
You might have noticed there’s something that’s not part of this deal. We won’t give you a time when we’ll pick up your trash (or recycling or yard waste). It’s not because we’re trying to be difficult or we don’t want to help. It’s that we simply can’t guarantee you a time (even if we’ve been picking it up at the same time for the last 15 years) because there are too many factors involved. So, what could those things be? Without going into too much detail, here are a few factors that affect when your trash is picked up:
- Changes to routes to make collection more efficient or accommodate new customers
- Truck performance
- Driver schedules
- Periodic heavy trash volume (e.g., after Christmas)
- Weather conditions
These are not the only reasons the timing of your pickup could change, but they happen most frequently. And often, we don’t even know about the time difference until it happens. Since we don’t have an official “pickup time” for you, we can’t notify you of any changes. (Rest assured, however, that we WILL notify you if your collection DAY changes.)
So, to recap:
- You have a collection DAY, not a collection time.
- The best way to make sure your trash (or recycling or yard waste) is picked up is to have it out at the street by 7 a.m. (6 a.m. or the night before in limited areas). If you don’t know when collection starts in your area, you can’t go wrong with putting it out the night before just to be safe. (Please note, some municipalities have ordinances that stipulate how long you can leave your trash cart by the street.)
Now, if you have your trash out and it still doesn’t get picked up, read this post to find out what to do.