Those of us among the teeming masses who live in multi-family residential neighborhoods are generally satisfied with city services. But there’s room for improvement.

One of those services where improvement is needed is trash and recyclables disposal. In Court 13, south of Montana Avenue, trash is picked up from the large, black, circular containers twice a week — less often from the big, blue recycling bins.

When the city truck comes by, its mechanical arm picks up and dumps bin contents into the truck. The bins are returned to the alley. The truck moves on leaving overflow materials next to the bins along with any litter that fell out of the truck during the emptying operation.

The whole system that’s deployed discourages the single truck operator from getting out of his/her cab and picking up the loose paper and trash — that’s up to us residents. I’m not criticizing the drivers who do a good job and work hard for their pay — rather a system that only does half the job and often leaves a mess for residents to deal with.

I guess we’re lucky in my neighborhood. My buddy on 21st Street near Virginia Avenue says that many times his trash isn’t picked up at all necessitating frequent calls to Solid Waste Management for service and a second truck being dispatched to take care of what the first truck missed.

Most of my neighbors don’t crush or cut up large cardboard cartons either — preferring to casually toss them into blue bins that quickly overflow. Persons who come later with trash and recyclables leave it on the ground because they’re too lazy to walk a few hundred feet to the next bin.

Because of the less frequent pick-up, many recycling bins literally brim over. You’d think that because every other hour, 24/7, there’s someone (or sometimes entire families) picking through the bins and removing cans, aluminum, plastic and glass, there’d be nothing remaining. But, there’s enough kitchen garbage, tree cuttings and less valuable papers and cardboard boxes left behind to cause a mess.

The illegal recyclers load their plunder into pick-up trucks, shopping carts or campers and haul them to wholesale “gypsy” operations on Rose Avenue in Venice. This means City Hall loses the direct income from recycling valuable materials and doesn’t even get the sustainability credits, either.

Some neighbors apparently think the blue and black bins (and green bins in some places) are just fashion statements and don’t realize (or care) that the blue bins are for recyclables and the black bins are for garbage, so they use whatever bin is closest to them.

Others leave stale bread, pastry and other food on or next to the bins for the homeless. But, all this does is attract rats and vermin. Then there’s the dog owners who leave plastic bags filled with excrement on trash and recycling container lids, on lawns, sidewalks and in street gutters. This is just boorish and disgusting.

We are, in the words of Councilman Richard Bloom, “A world-class city.” Therefore, we should have world-class solid waste removal. Although we pay ever-increasing fees for essential services, we seem to get less and less for our money, And that my friends, is a real load of garbage.

10 reasons to go to the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast

1. Sept. 18. Its a Saturday. You don’t have to go to work.

2. 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.. Sleep in, catch a late breakfast.

3. Only $2 per person

4. Great pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee, milk and juice.

5. Free beverage refills and door prizes.

6. Boys & Girls Club, 1238 Lincoln Boulevard

7. When’s the last time you had breakfast in a former skate park?

8. Lions are a great bunch of folks.

9. Your $2 helps support Lions Club charities.

10. Mike Cveyich. If you don’t know him, ask.

Bill can be reached at

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