This letter was submitted to the editor by Brad from North Woodmere
I wholeheartedly agree with Amy's comments (). I was not even going to bother to report or comment on Sanitary District 1's poor service or their loud (think — yelling so alarmingly loud that several times I thought that men were fighting in the streets), rude, and foul mouthed workers, until I was threatened by one of their rubbish collectors.
What makes the incident so weird is the fact that up until early august of this year, I had always pulled my containers to the street myself and pulled them back myself, never had any interaction besides the occasional "hi," "thank you," or offering cold water to the crew.
Sure, there were more than several times when I had reason to complain — not emptying entire cans at all, partially emptying cans, leaving obvious trash (including full refuse bags) on the street. I have also personally heard a racial slur screamed with venom by one particular employee (not directed at my race or to me — I was inside at the time, but looking out). The comfort level with which it was uttered was astounding, with impunity and vitriol.
The tipping point for me was when I went to personally take a trash bag (that had not been collected for about a week) out of my own garbage receptacle. I did so while the truck was still down my block on its way to my home. I personally carried it (mind you, not begrudgingly — or with an "attitude" or any comments or accussing eye contact) to the curb area. Simply, a homeowner quietly taking out a bag of garbage in the morning that should have been removed a week or so earlier.
What happened next was outrageous, startling, egregious and beyond troubling. As I was walking to the curb with the bag in hand, the sanitation truck drove up to my home to collect the trash and I was being shouted down and harassed.
One of the workers shouted:
"You don't think we're taking that, it smells like S@#$t!"
I informed him that that's why it's called "garbage".
At which point I honestly felt like this particular individual was going to become physical. He approached me in a very belligerent manner and began to curse at me — by the way this was the same employee whom I had witnessed making the racial slur some weeks earlier. I asked for his name as I moved even closer to my home's external security cameras, he refused to provide me with that information or with his supervisor's name.
This individual then came within inches of me and with an icy glare, coldly and matter of factly stated: "Don't forget, I know where you live".
I was stunned by the nature and audacity of the threat. I immediately called Sanitary District 1, and was assured that the matter would be dealt with appropriately, and that a disciplinary letter would be placed into this particular individuals "file."
I now avoid being out when the workers are there, and I certainly don't take my receptacles to the curb anymore. I have referred this matter to the Sanitary District 1 supervisors and other offices with higher authority.
What a sad state of affairs.