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#1
Old 08-02-2011, 10:01 AM
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How to Get Rid of an Old, Disgusting Mattress and Boxspring?

I work for a landlord who has a problem, and I'm turning to the Dope for help.

He is now in possession of a number of mattresses/boxprings that need disposal. The usual solutions seem to be the following, none of which suits our problem:

1) Ask the store where you purchase your new mattress to pick up and dispose of your old one! We aren't buying a new mattress. We're throwing out old ones. We don't want and don't need a replacement. These items have been abandoned by former tenants. (No, we can't ask the former tenants to do this - most are on the run from creditors, and frankly, the landlord couldn't get the last 4-6 months rent out of them so no, I don't think anyone is inclined to do anyone a favor here).

2) Ask [fill in the blank here] to recycle them or donate them to charity! Er... these have been through floods (in one case, exposed to raw sewage), they were left in backyards or garages, they have mold/mildew damage, rats, raccoons, and probably things I don't want to know about have chewed them, eaten on/in them, raised young'uns, pee'd and pooped all over and in these things. No, I don't consider that something to be recycled or donated anywhere but a dump.

3) Ask your local city government/garbage provider for a special pickup. Already tried. The answer is "no". A very firm "no". The city warned us that any attempt to sneak one into the garbage will result in a large fine. The garbage agency said they will cancel a contract if a mattress is put in their dumpster. The local recycling center will take the steel parts... so long as there are no other bits attached. Which leaves the problem of what to do with the REST of the mattress.

I guess this explains why abandoned mattresses are not an uncommon site along the highway around here. Seriously, IS there a legal way to dispose of an old mattress?
#2
Old 08-02-2011, 10:06 AM
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Your town doesn't have a dump?

There's a lot of things that aren't allowed in the regular trash here, and the city doesn't do individual special pickups.

But you can take things to the dump anytime. There's a small fee, based on weight. I think you do have to have a utility bill or something proving residence.
#3
Old 08-02-2011, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtail23 View Post
Your town doesn't have a dump?

There's a lot of things that aren't allowed in the regular trash here, and the city doesn't do individual special pickups.

But you can take things to the dump anytime. There's a small fee, based on weight. I think you do have to have a utility bill or something proving residence.
Yeah, drive out to your local landfill and talk to somebody there. Then find a friend with a truck, pay the fee, and all done.
#4
Old 08-02-2011, 10:45 AM
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I wouldn't even bother driving to the landfill. Either call them, or call the garbage agency (the one that told you not to put the mattress in the dumpster) and ask them, "So if I can't put a used mattress in my dumpster, what is the correct way of disposing of it?"

BTW, since it's possible that the mattress is harboring bedbugs, I'd be very careful how I got it removed. Perhaps use a U-Haul truck.
#5
Old 08-02-2011, 10:48 AM
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Does your city have bulk pickup for large items? You usually have to call and schedule a pickup, or find out when one has already been scheduled for your area. Then you just put it out that day.
My SO and I got rid of 3 beds (mattress and box spring) this way. We had to do it one at a time, but it was easier than dragging them all to the dump.
#6
Old 08-02-2011, 10:53 AM
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Around here, you put it out on the curb on trash day and the truck picks it up and takes it away.
#7
Old 08-02-2011, 10:58 AM
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Pile them on a street corner with a sign that says "free trampolines."

Haul them into your backyard and make the biggest, bestest fort ever.


Scan the Yellow Pages/Craigslist for haulers and the like. Ask them how much to come get them and what they will do with them (i.e., be sure they won't just take them and dump them on some rural country road).
#8
Old 08-02-2011, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
The garbage agency said they will cancel a contract if a mattress is put in their dumpster.
Can you switch dumpster companies? I have a dumpster at my business and have disposed of mattresses. Never a problem. If the dumpster people said anything, a $20 would smooth things over.
#9
Old 08-02-2011, 11:04 AM
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Call the stores in your town who sell mattresses and ask them who they use to dispose of mattresses. Call that company and try to arrange something directly with them.
#10
Old 08-02-2011, 11:14 AM
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Craigslist. Free mattresses.
#11
Old 08-02-2011, 11:30 AM
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Years ago I disposed of a mattress and boxspring by dismantling them and putting a portion into my weekly trash for a few weeks. With a utility knife (to slice up the upholstery), a heavy pair of pliers (to cut up the wires that hold the internals together) and a hammer (to knock apart the wood structure of the box spring, if any), you can take apart a mattress/boxspring set in about twenty minutes.

If you're looking for something less laborious and don't mind spending a few bucks, call the local landfill, or check the city's website for the solid waste department. Instead of asking if you can do X with it, ask them what they suggest you do with it.

If all else fails, there's these guys.
#12
Old 08-02-2011, 12:05 PM
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How close is the building of the guy you're working for to Chicago? 1-800-Got-Junk has five franchises in the Chicago area. If you wrap them in a tarp first they should have no problems taking them.
#13
Old 08-02-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
I wouldn't even bother driving to the landfill. Either call them, or call the garbage agency (the one that told you not to put the mattress in the dumpster) and ask them, "So if I can't put a used mattress in my dumpster, what is the correct way of disposing of it?"
They don't care as far as they're concerned it's our problem.

Quote:
BTW, since it's possible that the mattress is harboring bedbugs
Actually, pretty damn unlikely. Fleas, perhaps, but not bedbugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoSaffBridge View Post
Does your city have bulk pickup for large items?
The city where the mess is located does not, in fact, have bulk pickup. At all. In fact, it only manages to get regular pickup done about 50% of the time.

Where I live there is NO garbage pickup at all. None. I live in an unincorporated area and we get none of the city services urban residents take for granted. Everyone is responsible for dealing with their own garbage, which usually means hiring a private service, or trying to find a place to dump your stuff. No, I do not have access to municipal landfills because I am not a resident of any of said municipalities. Neither is the landlord. He owns property in a municipality, but because he isn't a resident there he isn't allowed to use the landfill. His tenants were, because they were residents, but he's not and he can't.

Quote:
My SO and I got rid of 3 beds (mattress and box spring) this way. We had to do it one at a time, but it was easier than dragging them all to the dump.
I'm beginning to think that's what we'll have to do, but there are definite issues with that, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittenblue View Post
Around here, you put it out on the curb on trash day and the truck picks it up and takes it away.
Around here, that's a $500 fine for a first offense.

I'll look into the 1-800-JUNK option and see if they'll cross state lines to help us out. Also, I'll try the local mattress places but the first two I called said they if weren't buying from them they weren't going to take old mattresses.

As I mentioned, this could explain the abundance of old, abandoned mattresses we get around here....

But keep brainstorming, we'll figure something out eventually.
#14
Old 08-02-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
No, I do not have access to municipal landfills because I am not a resident of any of said municipalities. Neither is the landlord. He owns property in a municipality, but because he isn't a resident there he isn't allowed to use the landfill. His tenants were, because they were residents, but he's not and he can't.
Really? Do you really think the landfill people will check his residency? Why would they care, as long as you're paying the fee? If there is no garbage pickup service, where does your garbage go? I lived in a rural area for awhile and we hauled ours to a local county landfill.
#15
Old 08-02-2011, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Really? Do you really think the landfill people will check his residency? Why would they care, as long as you're paying the fee? If there is no garbage pickup service, where does your garbage go? I lived in a rural area for awhile and we hauled ours to a local county landfill.
Do not taunt happy fun landfill guy.

The couple areas I've had experience with gave window stickers at the town hall (haul?) after showing proof of residency (no experience with only having proof of land ownership but not residency). You cannot get into the dump without said sticker.
#16
Old 08-02-2011, 01:11 PM
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Rural area?

Burn the mattress in your back yard. Clear away any leaves and have a water hose ready.
Kerosine & some cardboard boxes will get it going nicely. Bring a bag of marshmallows too.

The metal frame can be cut up with wire snips and easily bagged/trashed.

Quote:
Where I live there is NO garbage pickup at all. None. I live in an unincorporated area and we get none of the city services urban residents take for granted.

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-02-2011 at 01:13 PM.
#17
Old 08-02-2011, 01:16 PM
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For some reason I read 'NW Indiana' as 'NW Illinois' in your location field. They also have a franchise in Indianapolis.
#18
Old 08-02-2011, 01:47 PM
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Truck them or cut them up

Get a truck and take them to the local dump.

I had only one to get rid of so I cut it up in pieces that would fit in a dumpster.
#19
Old 08-02-2011, 01:58 PM
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Yeah, the dump here requires a utility bill to prove residence. Of course, I've never had them check my ID against the utility bill...

Don't you or the landlord have any friends that live in town and could lend a hand?

Lessee, drive around town until you find a construction site and put it in their dumpster.* Alternatively, drive around town until you find an unlocked business dumpster and use that. I haven't done that since I was, I dunno, I think about 19, but as long as we're brainstorming.

I like the "burn it" idea, as long as you're not in a drought like we are. Burning things here is a very, very, very bad idea right now. But I can guarantee that's what would have happened when I lived in an unincorporated area.


* For humor purposes only. Totally pissed me off when we had one of those dumpsters while we were working on a house. Had to have the damn thing emptied of OTHER PEOPLE'S TRASH like 3 times for the 1 time we filled it. GRRRRR.

Last edited by redtail23; 08-02-2011 at 01:58 PM.
#20
Old 08-02-2011, 02:05 PM
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Not sure if this is an option for you, but around here we take "difficult" waste to the local Indian reservation dump. They'll take almost anything, and it's not too expensive. If you're close to a reservation, call them up and ask.
#21
Old 08-02-2011, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtail23 View Post
Alternatively, drive around town until you find an unlocked business dumpster and use that.
I'm a business owner. A nosy neighbor spied someone putting things in my dumpster and got the guys license plate info.

I filed a police report, and the cops caught the guy, who confessed. The cop asked if I would consider withdrawing my complaint. I said I would, if the guy emptied my dumpster, since I couldn't distinguish his stuff from mine. With the cop watching, the guy took everything out of the dumpster and loaded into his car; trunk, back seat, passenger front seat.

Don't do this.
#22
Old 08-02-2011, 02:30 PM
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Bagster. Check your ZIP code for service availability.
#23
Old 08-02-2011, 02:41 PM
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The guy down the street from me just put his old mattress (and some carpet) out at the curb a few months ago. Apparently he didn't call for a special pickup, because the trash company ignored it. Now I guess he just thinks nature is going to reclaim it, and frankly it is, bit by bit. I'd complain to the county, but I'm perversely fascinated.
#24
Old 08-02-2011, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Craigslist. Free mattresses.
This worked for me, within hours. I had several offers.
#25
Old 08-02-2011, 03:15 PM
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So the municipal landfill is out. I'm willing to bet your county has a landfill. Why not call your county government offices and find out?
#26
Old 08-02-2011, 03:26 PM
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Get an art foundation grant and some matching government government funds to have it installed as a found art exhibit. With any luck, you can parlez it into a travelling exhibit and never see it again, a la Elmer McCurdy.

Last edited by Muffin; 08-02-2011 at 03:28 PM.
#27
Old 08-02-2011, 03:29 PM
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Can't you just look for a local hauler to take the mattress away for a fee? Check the local paper, put up notices at the market, laundry, etc., or ask local businesses who they use to get rid of bulky crap.
#28
Old 08-02-2011, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
I'll look into the 1-800-JUNK option and see if they'll cross state lines to help us out. Also, I'll try the local mattress places but the first two I called said they if weren't buying from them they weren't going to take old mattresses.
The mattress places may not take your old ones, but I think what kunilou was getting as it that they may be able to tell you what they do with ones that they do take.
#29
Old 08-02-2011, 03:34 PM
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If a store that sells mattresses won't take it because you did not buy mattresses from them, at least, ask them what they do with the ones they do pick up, they might put you in touch with some company that recycles mattresses. You'll most likely be expected to cover the cost.


Beated to it by Beartato.

Last edited by J-P L; 08-02-2011 at 03:35 PM.
#30
Old 08-02-2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
The guy down the street from me just put his old mattress (and some carpet) out at the curb a few months ago. Apparently he didn't call for a special pickup, because the trash company ignored it. Now I guess he just thinks nature is going to reclaim it, and frankly it is, bit by bit. I'd complain to the county, but I'm perversely fascinated.
Take pictures and post a Web site: The Stinky Mattress Project.


(Ref: Stinky Meat Project)
#31
Old 08-02-2011, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by beartato View Post
The mattress places may not take your old ones, but I think what kunilou was getting as it that they may be able to tell you what they do with ones that they do take.
Yes, that is what I meant.
#32
Old 08-02-2011, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
Take pictures and post a Web site: The Stinky Mattress Project.


(Ref: Stinky Meat Project)
I actually had that in mind. I would presumably need a stinkymate to volunteer to sleep on it one night.
#33
Old 08-02-2011, 04:01 PM
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I've had success putting my crap into a dumpster at an apartment complex I used to live at. Drive up just after dark like you own the place, dump em, drive away like you still own the place.

Obviously it's not risk-free.
#34
Old 08-02-2011, 04:07 PM
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Cutting up the mattress sounds like the most practical method.
There's really not much there except some foam padding and the fabric top. That'll bag up easily. Cutting up the springs with metal snips would be the most tedious part.

Buy a good wire cutter
http://amazon.com/Klein-D228-8-L...ef=pd_sim_hi_1
Hire a couple teenagers. Pay them $40 a mattress to cut it & bag it.

You might even make a few $$$ taking the cut up wire to a recycler.

Problem solved.

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-02-2011 at 04:09 PM.
#35
Old 08-02-2011, 04:39 PM
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Commence toxic tort court actions against the tenants who slept on the mattresses and allegedly stinkified them, and file the said mattresses as evidence with the court. Then either move without filing a forwarding address, or drag things out until the tenants cave in and settle on the condition that they take possession of the mattresses, or just plain lose the case and pay the tenant's court costs in mattresses rather than money.
#36
Old 08-02-2011, 04:44 PM
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If the Clintons could donate their used underwear to charities and claim tax deductions, you should at least be able to drop the mattresses off at the political party of your choice and claim a tax deduction.
#37
Old 08-02-2011, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Rural area?

Burn the mattress in your back yard.
You can make more profit if you buy a and insure a flea-bag motel, put a stinky mattress in each room, rent out the rooms for first month plus damage deposit, burn the place to the ground, make an insurance claim to pay off the mortgage, and make your profit by blaming it on the tenant smokers and keeping their damage deposits.
#38
Old 08-02-2011, 04:52 PM
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Too bad you are not in Canada. At the moment, I keep putting things in the mail, but they do not get delivered (Canada Post is on the rebound from a strike). I suppose the best you could do would be to parcel post them to the address of someone whom you do not like, and for the return address, put down the address of another person whom you do not like.
#39
Old 08-02-2011, 04:57 PM
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You're a pilot and you'd like to have some flight time comped, so how about dropping them from a plane on the first pass, and then on the second pass letting the parachutists who are paying your plane rental and fuel use them as soft landing targets. Then just fly off into the distance while your happy clients start to wonder how the hell they can dispose of stinky mattresses.
#40
Old 08-02-2011, 05:12 PM
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Container garden. Just cut the tops out of each one, stack some bricks around it and fill with topsoil.

Seriously, bagster is the bomb. You might need two bags, but $190.00 and done. If any are King sized you might need a chain saw. . .
#41
Old 08-02-2011, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
This worked for me, within hours. I had several offers.
Also, freecycle.org. I only did Craigslist first because it took a couple of days to get registered on Freecycle.
#42
Old 08-02-2011, 07:16 PM
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Sorry, I'm a little confused after reading the thread, I'm still not sure how Broomstick disposes of regular house trash right now. Do you have a private service that picks up regular trash?

My apartment building has a private service that also restricts putting furniture and such in the actual dumpsters, because they aren't prepared with the regular trucks to take furniture and so the poor guy would have to fish the big stuff like that out before being able to lift the dumpster into the truck. What they do, instead, is have residents put furniture to be disposed next to the dumpsters, and when the regular pickup occurs, the extra gets called in and they do an extra pickup - for additional fees, of course. Usually gets picked up within 3-5 days of getting put outside.

So, my take on that is asking if the private service will do an extra pickup of stuff that's outside the dumpster and how much that fee would be. I'm having a hard time with thinking a regular garbage service wouldn't do extra-fee pickups. Man it would be a mess of totally full alleys around here if they didn't do that! (there is no city pickup for buildings larger than 3-flats, so every residential building larger than that has to get private service)
#43
Old 08-02-2011, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
Sorry, I'm a little confused after reading the thread, I'm still not sure how Broomstick disposes of regular house trash right now. Do you have a private service that picks up regular trash?
Yes, we have a private trash service. It is $95 for an extra pick up and they emphatically will NOT take mattresses.

My area used to be rural, but the urban sprawl has caught up with it. So... we don't have perks like municipal pickup, AND it is now illegal to burn trash on one's property. Everyone in the unincorporated areas has to pay for trash service, which is down to two companies in my area, and both charge fairly steep rates because there isn't much choice. If people don't get rid of their garbage, just let it pile up, then they get fined. So it's a bad situation. I know of a couple properties where there's an outbuilding filled with a couple years of garbage.

The former tenants aren't worth going after. There's no money there. Really. They spent the last two months of residence without electricity, gas, or running water due to inability to pay utility bills. Given that, is it a wonder they didn't pay someone to haul the mattress and boxspring away? They couldn't take it anywhere, either, as their car was busted and they didn't have money to fix that either. After they abandoned it the landlord looked it over, decided it wasn't worth fixing, and had a junker service tow it away. But they only dealt with cars.

This is not, however, as bad as the tenants back about 5 years now who decided to raise money for their rent by first stripping the aluminum siding off the house and selling it for scrap, then cooking meth on the waterbed in the bedroom. It did not end well.

What can I say? When middle class people fall into dire poverty it gets very, very ugly. They won't admit how shitty things have gotten, they're either too proud to ask for help or don't know where to go for help, and sometimes they panic or freeze up and don't do anything to help themselves until it's too late. Or they do something stupid or bad or criminal to try to get money.

Quote:
So, my take on that is asking if the private service will do an extra pickup of stuff that's outside the dumpster and how much that fee would be.
As I mentioned upstream, it's potentially a $500 fine for leaving stuff outside a dumpster in my area. The county "can't afford" trash pickup for everyone, but apparently they feel free to ticket folks.

Quote:
I'm having a hard time with thinking a regular garbage service wouldn't do extra-fee pickups. Man it would be a mess of totally full alleys around here if they didn't do that! (there is no city pickup for buildings larger than 3-flats, so every residential building larger than that has to get private service)
Did you think I was kidding about mattresses being left alongside roads around here? You are absolutely correct, that sort of situation leads to a mess. That's why around here we have garbage next to roads and illegal dumping going on everywhere.
#44
Old 08-02-2011, 08:00 PM
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Since you live in an unincorporated area, at the very least you have a County government(?) FWIW - give them a call and complain about this. They have some say over who gets the trash hauling contract, and the terms. I'm not suggesting this will solve your immediate problem, but it may get somebodies balls rolling.
#45
Old 08-02-2011, 08:11 PM
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Yes, we have a county government. NO, they have nothing to do with trash hauling. It's either city trash service or, if your city doesn't have such, or you're outside a city you have to contract with a private hauler. They have no say in who gets the trash hauling "contract" because there isn't one with the "county government". It's strictly between private individuals/landlords and the private companies doing the hauling. I'm not sure why people are having such a hard time comprehending this.

The locals governments that don't supply trash pickup do not care (unless you dump something they don't like, have garbage outside your dumpster, or they catch you burning trash). Calling them does no good. As far as they're concerned it's the responsibility of the owner to find a trash service, that is not something provided by all governments around here. If yours doesn't, tough shit, you're on your own.
#46
Old 08-02-2011, 08:16 PM
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Well, I for one have a bit of trouble comprehending this because I've always lived in incorporated cities and towns, with responsive local government.
#47
Old 08-02-2011, 08:38 PM
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Well, I'm in sort of a Libertarian "paradise" - we have very little local government, and for the most part you're on your own for taking care of stuff. Maybe it's why I'm not a Libertarian.
#48
Old 08-02-2011, 08:46 PM
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Almost every quasi rural area I'm familar with is lousy with "two guys and a truck" haul away type services. Why is this not the go to answer?
#49
Old 08-02-2011, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Well, I'm in sort of a Libertarian "paradise" - we have very little local government, and for the most part you're on your own for taking care of stuff. Maybe it's why I'm not a Libertarian.
It's not remotely libertarian to illegalize burning garbage (which is how rural folk typically deal with it) or to police your personal property the way they are. It's pretty fascist, actually, to demand that you deal with your garbage by going through one of only two vendors, neither of whom will apparently deal with mattresses.

Make friends with someone who is incorporated and have them take the trash to the county dump.
#50
Old 08-02-2011, 09:07 PM
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Did I miss this: was Bagster a no go?
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