Complicated rules for KC’s bulky trash pickup leave some neighbors frustrated

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A "trashy" situation is causing frustration for Waldo neighbors and hurting their pockets.

Kansas City, Missouri, offers a no-charge Bulky Item Collection Program. Residents can call 311 to make a pickup appointment, and workers will haul away trash that's too large for weekly pickup, like chairs, microwaves and air conditioning units.

But one Waldo man said the city should reevaluate how it operates the program.

Tim London scheduled a pick-up at his girlfriend's home in Waldo. While he was waiting for the day, he got a warning letter from the city about items on his porch.

"Someone complained, and the city came out and sent us a letter that said if it wasn't removed within 10 days, they would start fining us a minimum of $100 and daily fees," London said.

The warning was confusing for London, as he already had an appointment for collection.

Last week, his pickup day came -- but it didn't go as he anticipated.

"They pulled up, looked at it, wrote a note and drove off," London said. "Didn't take any if it. So then we had to pay 1-800-GOT-JUNK $250 to get rid of it."

According to KCMO's Solid Waste Services, London's pickup exceeded the 15 item limit, which is why workers left all the items behind.

John Baccala, a spokesperson for KCMO, said there's a reason for that.

"It`s not a discretionary," Baccala said. "It`s a number that we go by faithfully. We want to provide a service, but we don`t want people putting out anything and everything."

London called to schedule another appointment, but was told he would have to wait until September, which is why he paid an outside company for the service.

"If that`s something our tax money is paying for and they can threaten to fine you if it`s not picked up, and they come and don`t pick it up, that`s kinda weird," London said. "I don`t think that`s fair."

The month of July is all booked in London's area for bulky item pickup.

"We have a system we use where one month we will be north of the river and south of 63rd street," Baccala said. "The next month we will pick up the remainder of the city, and it`s a cycle. So we do that every other month."

Bulky item pickup was suspended over the winter to focus on winter storm limb clean-up. Baccala said they're back on track now -- even though neighbors waiting for service may not agree.

If you need to make an appointment for bulky item pick up, call 311. The city said you can leave your items out starting after 3 p.m. on the day before pickup without the risk of penalties.

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