Letter: City Carting’s repeated damage to trash can is vandalism

By Michael Ward

To the Editor

NORWALK, Conn. – This letter was sent to Norwalk customer service, Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord and District A Council members David Watts and Matt Miklave, both Democrats.

Shortly before City Carting started the collection of residential garbage for the city of Norwalk, I purchased a new garbage can with an attached lid from Home Depot. A few weeks after City Carting started the routes, my lid was broken off and gone forever. Rubbermaid was kind enough to send me a new lid for free.  At the end of June the lid was gone again. I paid for a new lid and installed it last week.  I came out this morning while your truck was  collecting the garbage and watched your employee toss my can back off the street sending my new lid flying down the street feet away from its intended protectee (the garbage can). 

This is the third such incident.  My neighbors who have the same Rubbermaid can are also missing their lids.  This is not a design problem, as Rubbermaid has manufactured and marketed (I am sure) millions of these cans.

Section 94-5 of the city code states:

A. The owner of each premises, residential or commercial, where solid waste is created or generated shall provide, at a suitable place upon such premises and not on the street or sidewalk, sufficient receptacles for receiving and holding such solid waste during the intervals between collections. Solid waste shall be stored in watertight, tightly covered cans or rigid containers; garbage shall not be placed out for collection in plastic bags. The standard unit of collection for household solid waste shall be 20- and 30-gallon containers. Each receptacle shall not weigh more than 75 pounds when full. Containers shall be maintained in good condition, free of holes and fissures and shall be equipped with securely fitting covers. No loose material will be collected by the city.

B. All refuse containers shall be maintained by the owners thereof and promptly replaced when no longer fit for use. Containers not conforming to the requirements set forth by this chapter and deemed a sanitary or accident hazard, as determined by the director or his duly authorized agents, may be confiscated by the city and disposed of, without compensation to the owner.

I now find myself responsible to purchase a new garbage can as per the city code as the lid will no longer remain on the can. Besides keeping animals from pulling waste out of the cans, the lid keeps rainwater out of the can keeping them lighter so that the collector does not hurt himself lifting it into the truck or worse, leaving the can unemptied because it now exceeds the specified weight of 75 pounds, as per 94-5a.

The without compensation clause of 94-5b is a burden on someone who has gone out of his way to comply with the code. My garbage can was vandalized by your employees while fulfilling a city contract to collect the refuse from within them and after three incidents, I do consider it an act of vandalism.  This email is to serve notice that once I replace this can, should it occur again, I will contact the police about it.

Michael Ward

A Rainbow Road resident


15 responses to “Letter: City Carting’s repeated damage to trash can is vandalism”

  1. Tim T

    I along with many others I know are having the same problem.

  2. notaffiliated

    This smells funny to me. When city employees picked up, there was a fair share of lid throwing as well. Maybe it’s just the garbage cans of those against the city’s decision to go with City Carting.

  3. rburnett

    I know this story very well. The City Carting people simply rush through their routes and throw cans and lids wherever they may land. My lid got thrown onto the side of the road and shortly thereafter, was run over by ANOTHER City Carting truck and destroyed. NICE. I was initially thinking it might be a good thing to use city Carting, but not after I’ve witnessed first hand, their horrible performance.

  4. TLawton

    Couldn’t agree further. These guys seem to revel in their destructiveness. Since the change-over our cans lids are gone, one can now has a hole and every GD week they leave the cans in the street.

  5. EveT

    Interesting that the law says “garbage shall not be placed out for collection in plastic bags.” On my street and all over town, I see a lot more black plastic bags placed out the by curb than garbage cans. People started doing this because their garbage cans were getting damaged and lids getting lost. As far as I know, neither the City Carting nor the municipal garbage collection has ever refused to pick up the garbage in plastic bags.

  6. Don’t Panic

    Aside from complaining to customer service, maybe you should sumit a polite request to City Carting for reimbursement. The City may have indemnified them from claims for damage to private property in the contract like Norwalk employees would have had, but maybe they didn’t.
    At the very least everyone should take into consideration the invisible subsidy provided by tax-payers for this supposedly money-saving contract. Apparently, the only savings to tax-payers that count are those that are wrung out of the pockets of union/municipal employees.

  7. oldtimer

    Don’t be too surprised to find that City Carting Co has plans to require the use of a standard container designed for machine handling, similar to the recycling containers, so they can operate one-man garbage trucks. They may even supply the container. This private company works to improve it’s bottom line at every opportunity and getting rid of containers that need to be manually loaded or dumped would be a step in that direction. This is being done all over the country, to cut costs. The City could have done the same thing rather than outsource jobs.

  8. Ken

    Personally I’m happy with City Carting. My cans are now noer,mally standing beside my driveway when I come home, before theyd be mixed up with neighbors just tossed aside. On another note I wouldnt worry about the lid. I have lids but NEVER leave them on for collection, seems asking for trouble if you ask me. My lids are all stacked inside the garbage shed I built to deter racoons.

  9. NorwalkLifer

    1. Let’s not forget to mention that they drop trash nearly every time they heave a barrel into the garbage truck.

    2. I’ve heard the contract isn’t actually producing the savings that were originally promised.

    3. A ten year contract is almost unheard of for a city carting company. Moccia likes helping out his buddies alright!

  10. oldtimer

    Some of us can’t help wondering what’s in it for Moccia.

  11. Anon

    PROBLEM 1 – What about when its raining.. is it SO HARD to flip the lid closed? Norwalk Public Works ALWAYS flipped the attached lids closed – now we’re lucky to get the cans standing.

    PROBLEM 2 – They dont care about the power/cable lines… EVERY Monday morning the machine lifts the cans and smashes them into the cable lines on the road shaking the cables and poles on the entire road… I’m really surprised they haven’t been ripped out yet.

  12. Don’t Panic

    What lids? That’s what people are complaining about. The destruction and disappearance of the lids.
    Also, it’s important to remember that the pickup often takes place after working people have left for work, meaning that whatever careless situation they leave behind remains that way until the working person comes home, including leaving the cans in the street on a narrow roadway to cause hazards to drivers.
    No working person I know is in a position to run home in the middle of the day and clean up after CC once a week.

  13. M Allen

    Good Lord, can we try any harder to make saints of the former trash collectors? Who is expecting that kid gloves be used with their garbage cans? I’m sorry, but my cans were tossed back to the side of the road before, and they are tossed back to the side of the road now. I was happy when the lid was nearby before, and I am happy if the lid is nearby now. Garbage men are garbage men. Drag, lift, dump, toss. Nothin new here. Quit acting like the previous garbage men were the knightly professionals of refuse you think you remember.

  14. NorwalkVoter

    @Ken – Remember, leaving these cans open, without the lid, is inviting dogs and raccoons to rip into them and strew garbage all over the street. This issue with CC is far from over.

  15. Ryan

    Good grief. It must be an election year. CC does more work in less time with fewer trucks and saves Norwalk more than 800k per year.
    If you have complaints call Customer Service and I’m sure they will be addressed.

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