Monday, October 13, 2008

Snowy Day

This is the backyard - see all the snow we got this weekend? It's getting very cold. I had to preheat my car this morning, plus still scrape ice off the windows. Yesterday Tim went out and brushed a couple inches of snow off the car prior to church.

I feel like venting today. I work with the public which sometimes can be fun and other times can be very un-fun. Lately it's been the un-fun type of public.

First, some history. Our landfill is expected to be full in 2043. There are no other sites suitable for a landfill withing the Anchorage area. Therefore, garbage must decrease so that the life of the landfill can be extended or the city needs to start the process of seeking out and purchasing land further away to begin a new landfill. Our utility recently implemented automated curbside garbage pick-up combined with recycling. There has been a very vocal group of recyclers within Anchorage pushing for curbside recycling and if it works, this would help to extend the life of the landfill. The recycling portion is FREE; all customers received a recycling cart to put their recyclables in. They also received garbage carts (provided by us) that vary in size according to how much garbage the home expects to set out. The price for service varies with which size cart the home chose. Small garbage cart, cheapest cost. Largest garbage cart, highest cost. The whole intent is to encourage people to recycle by providing an incentive (higher cost for more garbage). And since it's picked up and they don't have to run it to the recycling center, you'd think more people would be happy about it.

So far we have received a small number of thanks (from the recyclers) and a very large amount of complaints that range from "you can't make me recycle" to "kiss my A**". One reluctant customer filled his recycling cart with dog feces. That's how bad it's getting. I am amazed at how nasty the public can be to the people answering the phones. It is downright rude.

The irony of this all is that none of them have to recycle if they don't want to. All they have to do is call and ask us to remove the recycling cart. But most of them haven't bothered to read the instructions that came with their carts and get enraged before they even know fully what the program is all about.

Ok. I've vented. Now I'm done and I'm sure I will sleep much better and not be thinking about all the things I wish I could say to the customers. The moral to this story is: Be nice to customer service people. It's not their ideas that are being implemented but they are the ones who have to answer all the questions and take all the complaints. If you must complain (and sometimes there are legitimate reasons) then take the time to find out who makes the decisions and who best can help you with your problem.


tainterturtles said...

Well said Patty. We've had recyling in WI for many years now. I'm shocked at how many people around here don't recyle, even smart, well-educated people I know don't recyle. I call it a crime against what God gave us....our beautiful earth.

Aunt Krissy said...

That person with the dog poop? Want me to come up there and "take care" of it?

K. said...

Wow! The nerve of some people! My gosh!

Around here, the recycling is very encouraged and commonplace. So much so, there is often a waiting list to get the free recycling bins. Now they're offering mulch bins, and we're on a waiting list for those - they just can't get enough (no place to mulch on city lots easily, so they city tries to help by distributing bins to use).