Trash hauler unloads in deadbeat customer’s driveway

What do you do if you’re a trash hauler with customers who don’t pay their bills?

In Red Wing, Minnesota, you give them some trash back.

A trash hauler dumped almost two tons of trash on a customer’s driveway in retaliation for an unpaid bill, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports.

The city, apparently, had to clean it up, which will cost Paul’s Industrial Garage $735, in addition to the $1,800 fine.

“I opened my car door … and the smell was incredible,” Red Wing City Council member Peggy Rehder said during Monday’s city council meeting. “This was a very deliberate action that neighbors watched go on. They watched a phone call being made and then garbage being dumped … which threatens the health and safety of the neighborhood. I view this as very serious business.”

The trash had been sitting in a roll-off at the site for six weeks.

The company says it lost nearly $1,500 in business by having the roll-off tied up with a customer who wasn’t paying for it.

  • John O.

    \”almost two tons of wet, putrescible waste”

    What a quote from the Red Wing City Council!

  • Fairbusiness

    Sounds fair to me

  • jon

    What do you do when some one is renting your property and not paying for it? You reposes. Of course you can’t just take what is theirs (the trash), that would be theft (unless you had some sort of agreement that had been met on both sides for transportation of that property, in this case sounds like it was not.)

    So you get your bin back, and you leave everything that they had left in the bin on the site.

  • Kassie

    What do you do when trash customers stop paying their bills? You stop picking up their trash. Maybe bring them to court or a collection agency. This seems very much like something you’d see on a mob movie.

    • jon

      This wasn’t your typical residential trash collection.
      This was a roll off bin… they kind that construction and roofing companies use.
      The trash was on the site either way, the company picked up the bin that it had dropped off, and simply did not take the trash that was in the bin with them.

      More than likely the customer agreed to not put hazardous waste in the bin when he requested it (pretty standard for roll offs to specify what type of trash you are disposing of).

      Either way the customer left the waste on their property, the waste company just moved if from a bin to the ground, so they could get their bin back.

      • Kassie

        You are defending the company? I’m sure there are numerous legal ways to deal with this and they chose the one that was not legal. I have no sympathy.

        • Amanda Adams

          It actually was quite legal. They will win in court and will not pay the fine.

          • Jeff

            The owners can claim destruction of property in that case, and other charges of vandalism and trespassing.

            Without an order to repossess, and no documentation, the dump would is not legal.

        • Chris Lynch

          I’ll defend them too. The customer had a roll-off in their driveway full of trash for six weeks, and wasn’t paying the rental fees. The hauler decided to take back their container and leave what was in it on the site. The customer is in the wrong here. Who keeps one of those for six weeks? Those containers cost $20,000 — it’s not like the company can afford to just have one idle for a month and a half

        • hands

          of course defend the company. these people weren’t paying their bill. why wouldn’t you?

    • Gary F

      This wasn’t their weekly trash pickup. It was a roll off style dumpster they hadn’t paid for.

  • Jeff

    I love the name of the hauler – P.I.G. (Paul’s Industrial Garage)

    While I feel for P.I.G., I also feel for the neighbors who had to deal not only with the roll-off being there for 6 weeks but then the smell and sight of the garbage on the driveway.

    P.I.G says they lost $1500 because someone wasn’t paying for. But then they blew $2500 to dump the trash on the driveway. $4000 down the drain. Would have been better for them to spend less than $2500 to hire someone to collect the $1500.

    I’m surprised they didn’t get a credit card number from the customer before delivering the roll-off.

    • Kassie

      Right! I’ve rented a dumpster before like this. I had to pay up front and give a credit card number in case they had additional charges because I put something against the rules in it or filled it too high.

      • Conundrum

        What happens when they write you a cheque and it bounces?

        Many businesses (like mine) still take cheques…partly to save the credit card fees… or better yet, they don’t have a mobile credit card terminal… There are lots of reasons the customer wouldn’t pay but none I can think of that they should get away with it.

        • Jeff

          A business can sign up with Square to take credit cards on an iPhone. The charge is 2.75% per swipe and the card reader is free. P.I.G. could charge nearly $100,000 and pay the same amount in Square charges as they paid in fees/fines. Or they could increase their roll-off cost from $250/week to $255/week to help defray the 2.75% charge.

        • Kassie

          At no point did I say they should get away with it. I’m saying dumping the garbage in the yard is a super crappy way of dealing with it. Use legal means, like collection agencies or court. Require checks to clear if people insist on using them. Don’t ruin a neighborhood by dumping a dumpster full of garbage in someone’s yard.

          • hands

            They neighborhood was already ruined by all this trash sitting in a dumpster that wasn’t paid for for 6 weeks.

          • Reality122

            Those means are exceptionally expensive, especially when you factor in the weeks of additional time in which that dumpster would have been sitting idle and not generating revenue. Then, even after you get a judgement in court there is no guarantee that you will be paid. If a person doesn’t have the money you aren’t going to get anything, simple as that.

            In the end this may well have been the cheapest route for the garbage company to retrieve their property back.

  • Albert911emt

    I see no problem with this, other than I wouldn’t want to be in the neighborhood with that stench. You just can’t expect a company to do a service for you without getting paid, and the trash company certainly isn’t going to take the trash to the dump (and pay the required fees for dumping), without getting paid first. I understand the municipality might decide to fine the company, but then the company should go after the customer for reimbursement of the fine, plus the original service fee, plus interest, etc.

  • DavidG

    I’m sure P.I.G. is going to be the first company people in that neighborhood call when they need a dumpster.

  • John O.

    Good thing it wasn’t a porta-potty!