Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What happens when your paper recycling cart is damaged?

Let’s face it. Recycling containers get a workout. Your paper recycling cart may develop a broken
  • lid
  • lift bar
  • wheel, or
  • body
What happens next? Call Montgomery County's Customer Service Center at 311 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850) for a repair. Our Customer Service staff will schedule a Thursday appointment with you.

If we receive your request before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, we can add you to our list for that week. Otherwise, we'll give you an appointment for Thursday of the next week.

What’s special about carts and Thursdays? It’s our cart repair day! If the problem(s) can be fixed, we’ll do that. And, if the cart is beyond repair, we’ll give you a replacement.

We ask you to set your cart at the curb empty. This allows our staff to work on your cart easily. A full cart can weigh over 200 pounds, which is why recycling collection vehicles have a mechanical lift to empty them. Our cart-repairers do not have lifts or the truck they would need to transport any paper they took with them.

When arriving at your address, we first assess the “patient.” This cart has two problems. Can you spot them?
Checking cart to identify the problems needing repair
Photo credit: R. Birndorf
After the diagnosis, surgery begins!
Tools and repair supplies on truck gate
Photo credit: R. Birndorf
First, the team gives the lid hinge a new pin.
Inserting new hinge pin
Photo credit: R. Birndorf
The mechanical lift hooks on to the metal bar on the front of the cart. Remember how heavy those full carts can be? Sometimes, the lift bar simply starts to give. Here, it’s swapped out for a new, straight bar.
Removing bent lift bar from paper recycling cart
Photo credit: J. Buhl
Voila! This cart is good as new, ready to receive many more pounds of paper from its owners!
Repaired paper recycling cart
Photo credit: J. Buhl

27 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:57 PM

    it would be very convenient to be able to schedule this repair on line, versus calling 311...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous3:43 PM

    Being able to schedule a repair online or by leaving a message at 311 would be beneficial.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous10:21 AM

    Keep getting annoying blow off message that service is unavailable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to learn that you've had trouble getting through to MC311! I believe you contacted us another way just after leaving this note; we have followed up on that contact.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous11:36 PM

    An online appointment request would be great. Inconvenient to call during the day.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I am disappointed I could not get my call through after work. I should be able to leave a message or create a service request that way.
    By the way, if the trash collectors break them, why can't they request a repair? The lid was broken 2 separate times by the trash collectors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:26 PM

      Makes no sense for the collection team to request a repair since they cannot ensure the resident will make the cart available on the subsequent repair day. But I do agree that it would be better to do online requests.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous7:10 PM


    An online appointment request would be great. Inconvenient to call during the day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous7:44 PM

    The collection team has shattered my cart and broken my bin. Why can I not order both of them online. Very inconvenient to place a call only during business hours. If the county wants to encourage recycling, then make it easier for the residents to order the supplies they need!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous2:24 PM

    I had no trouble getting through to a customer service rep this afternoon and it's good to know the wheeled bin will be replaced by next week. I was also glad to see that I could order a larger recycling bin online in seconds and at no charge. Also really proud that our county recycles so many kinds of trash. Thought you might like some positive feedback! THANKS!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous9:51 AM

    Great information on the web. Easy to find. Easy to follow! Thanks!

    A car randomly hit our bin and I'm glad to see it's relatively easy to have it replaced! Now if the weather will just cooperate so this process can go forward smoothly!

    A Kensington Resident

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Just had a very easy experience using the phone system. The customer service representative was very helpful and the repair/replacement has been scheduled. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous2:33 PM

    Customer service rep was very helpful. Explained the process and scheduled the repair/replacement. We'll cross our fingers that we get a new bin (vs. repair) as our duct tape can't even hold it together any more. Seems like the trash trucks are the ones that ruined it with their mechanism to lift it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. yes to on line request please. much more convenient than calling. cheaper for the county

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous9:39 AM

    I just had a very helpful conversation with Montgomery County 311. Explained everything and answered my questions. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Took only a couple of minutes on the phone to arrange to have my recycling bin lid repaired. Thank you! Operators at 311 have always been very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous10:57 PM

    Being able to schedule online would be most beneficial as I called 311 to get a repair with no success, difficult to do during the work day!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Do you recycle the broken recycle bins?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we recycle the bins and carts we collect.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Pick Up Guys after unload paper from re cycle bin
    they through hard ,and breaking them

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous6:09 PM

    What happens if the guys who come to try and repair my paper recycling cart determine that it is too broken to repair? Do I have to make another call to get a new cart or will the guys who come to my house replace it themselves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they cannot repair your cart, they will replace it for you - no additional call needed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous7:24 PM

      Thanks Suzanne, that is good to know.

      Delete
  19. I just spoke to 311 and was told I have to pay 55 dollars which I have no intention since all I do is put the bin at the street, I did not break it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for contacting us. We have followed up by phone. In Montgomery County, Maryland, our wheeled paper recycling carts are available at no additional charge.

      Delete
    2. Yes, thanks so much for contacting me, Monica was very helpful. Ian's she said, since I called 311 with my phone but at my place of work, I must have been talking to 311 in Washington, D.C. And they must not treat their customers like Montgomery county does, again, thanks

      Delete
  20. Thanks for this service. Commercial garbage cans does not always comes with good quality.

    ReplyDelete

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