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View Full Version : 2 Types Of Trash !?


befnme
11-25-2006, 10:07 PM
For the longest time i have had a personal debate about trash. I have finally come to a conclusion :

there are 2 types of trash.

1. Voluntary : The people that either live or work at that property and throw trash down and wait for you to clean it up.

2. Uncontrollable : Trash that is collected from passing litterbugs that dont care where their crap lands and have nothing to do with that property.


My conclusion is that starting in 2007 i refuse to pick up "Voluntary" trash. The way i figure it, if you dont care how junky you make the lawn or parking areas look then why should i ? I have a real hard time dealing with folks that will throw a cig butt down right beside the ash can. Or home owners that let crap fall out of their vehicle when they get out and say "well i will just let the lawn service get it, he will be here in a day or two anyway."

A.D Services
11-25-2006, 10:26 PM
good conclusion. same thing with dog crap they think the lawn guy is going to clean it up. well i got news for them if they think im going to pick up their dogs poop for free they better find someone else to mow their yard. i have one lady i mow for she expects me to clean up her trash that she throws in the yard and to clean up dog poop in her yard i dont think so. her dog is so bad i barfed at lest twice just mowing over by it. i think i will charge her for trash and poop

lawnspecialties
11-25-2006, 10:39 PM
I have a commercial account I maintain which has a "break" area outside for its employees. For some reason recently, an employee decided he'd just rather throw his cigarette butts on the ground instead of in the container.

To start with, I refuse to pick up cigarette butts. They're nasty as crap and are 100% "voluntary" as you call them, Befnme. Besides, a RedMax 8000 will blow them anywhere you want them.

Anyway, after a couple of times blowing them into the shrub area, I decided no more. Then, after a couple weeks, there were at least 100 or more butts. The employees there who I've helped with some landscape advice for their own yards started jumping on this addict's azz and the next thing you know; the area suddenly got cleaned up.

I'm with you, Befnme. There's a distinct line between maintaining a property and being someone's "trashboy". :)

A.D Services
11-25-2006, 10:44 PM
yep we have places to go stuff to do, what do they think we actually have the time to pick up their trash? thats just plain inconsiderate

mdvaden
11-26-2006, 12:04 AM
How do you feel about smokers these days. Best I can tell, about 8 in 10 toss their butts out the window or on the ground.

I saw one intersection in Portland, where the road to the left of the drivers window at the light, was so thick with butts, the pavement was covered like mulch. It was an actual layer.

A.D Services
11-26-2006, 12:12 AM
now thats just gross

SproulsLawnCare
11-26-2006, 12:23 AM
I do some sanitation at a small park. I know what to expect and plan on it. At all other places, I judge by what I see as well. Dog crap; if its a problem I try to shoot it where it will be notice. Actually, if its really a problem that bothers me, the customer is the type that I don't want to work for anyway. I dropped one right when I first started for that reason. I had my boots and mower covered in it. I simply told the customer that I would be available to mow their lawn anymore. No problems, no arguments!

KY Bluegrass 03
11-26-2006, 12:44 AM
anyone ever just clean up the trash tack on 20 bucks at four weeks of mowing and add it to the bill. money talks you'll get their attention real quick and end your trash problem

walker/redmax
11-26-2006, 02:57 AM
How are you going to tell if it is voluntary or involuntary trash? Are you referring to thinks like cigarette butts or do you mean all trash on someones lawn in general? Please explain.:)

GreenN'Clean
11-26-2006, 09:32 AM
I wont pick up any trash i tell them I'm in the lawn care business not the trash business and if they want me to pick it up I'm going to charge them to make it worth my time and it isn't going to be cheap. One thing I have learned over the years is that when you go out of your way to do those little extras like pick up trash,take the newspaper from street to there door,etc then they start expecting everything you do for them for free. I make sure i do the best cutting,trimming,edging etc for a certain price and anything i do after that is for a fee, and not for free and my customers respect that.

Grass Kickin
11-26-2006, 09:44 AM
No where in my contract does it say I perfrom the duties of a garbage man. That said, I won't pick up garbage anywhere. If as plastic bag has blown onto the lawn, I'll gladly take care of it but that voluntary stuff?? No chance.

Gatewayuser
11-26-2006, 10:49 AM
anyone ever just clean up the trash tack on 20 bucks at four weeks of mowing and add it to the bill. money talks you'll get their attention real quick and end your trash problem

Exactly why pick it up for free time = money. Just call it a trash fine.

Precision
11-26-2006, 01:56 PM
Exactly why pick it up for free time = money. Just call it a trash fine.

I don't do fines. I just include it in the contract language.

my commercial contracts state trash / litter (regardless of origin) will be picked up at $60 per man hour spent (minimum of .5 man hours) and added to the next bill.

I then line item that on the bill.

Usually it takes two billing cycles for the trash to start disappearing prior to my arrival.

On residentials, I on the few occasions I have had a problem with repeat offenders, I just call or drop them a note stating that the price will increase by$xx per cut each time I have to pick up the yard prior to cutting, as per the repricing clause.

Almost always get an apology and a promise to fix it.

cantoo
11-26-2006, 04:17 PM
We used to have a customer that had junk all over the lawn all the time. For awhile we moved it then we started to cut around it. Once in awhile she would clean up the junk but not very often. We even went as far as dropping off a 6x8 trailer so she could throw the junk on it and we would haul it away. In the end we just said we couldn't keep doing the lawn. She hired a local kid and the lawn has never been completely cut at one time in the last two years. Half the lawn is covered in junk, there are two abandoned cars in the driveway and numberous pieces of broken lawn furniture on the lawn. The shrubs are overgrown and she has a narrow path with junk on both sides to the side door of the house. Some people just can't be helped. The last owners kept every single blade of grass perfect.

befnme
11-26-2006, 06:49 PM
How are you going to tell if it is voluntary or involuntary trash? Are you referring to thinks like cigarette butts or do you mean all trash on someones lawn in general? Please explain.:)

i figure that if right outside of a business ( the break area for instance), if their is food wrappers laying all around and cig butts then that is voluntary. but if out by the roadside there is a soda can or an old cig pack that is usually involuntary and has been put there by a passerby.

sheshovel
11-26-2006, 07:13 PM
I say if you feel that your job is to maintain the outside areas and not just mow, then picking up trash should be covered in your agreement and charged for.
I am not going to walk away from a job I maintain and leave trash and butts and garbage everywhere. Sorry no can do. So it gets billed for and I do it or I don't keep the account. Nothing is worse for a reputation than to leave your jobs looking dirty.

Envy Lawn Service
11-26-2006, 08:56 PM
I just clean it up and charge a painful fee.

That takes care of it every time.

*****

On a side note, I wanted to add that certain locations get a lot of inheirient trash or a lot of litterbug trash. You can't clean that for free either. Not unless you already have that built into the fees already.

I've ran into situations like that too before. Like any retail location or restaurant almost..... Reciepts, butts, all manner of crap that blows off the lot into the lawn/landscape. If it's above what I expected, then I list bill it for what I would charge... then mark it "no-charge" provided it's not a repeat thing the first time with a nice little warning note about the situation. Point being, next time they will be charged for both. Most of them figure out right quick they would much rather send out one of their employees to 'pick up' for a lot less an hour than they will pay me next time it happens.

Uranus
11-26-2006, 09:26 PM
How are you going to tell if it is voluntary or involuntary trash? Are you referring to thinks like cigarette butts or do you mean all trash on someones lawn in general? Please explain.:)


I have a husband and wife owned dentist office that I maintain. Its on a main road in town and it always has something out front. Broken headlight, heat shield off muffler, things like that. I pick it up and dont charge. Its my name on their front yard. Out back is a different situation. They have 3 yellow labs, and 3 small children. Dog crap, soda cans, kids toys, mangled dog toys, 4 wheelers, and this past week a pull up diaper. Guess what I shot the soda can into their garden, did not cleanup around the four wheelers and kids toy pile, left the tangled hose piled up under the hook it is supposed to be on, cleaned up around the stuffing from the mangled dog toys, and left the diaper under the tree where it was. The front is uncontrollable and the back is voluntary.:)

A.D Services
11-26-2006, 10:35 PM
i saw one lawn company just run over all the trash with their mowers didnt look very pretty, partly becase there was a whole newspaper and he didnt even stop to pick it up. anther time i saw him run over a pop can, and get this he even ran over roadkill! imagine what his blades looked like!

MikeLT1Z28
11-27-2006, 06:55 AM
then there is always the sometimes overlooked 3rd kind of trash... the white trash ;)

Precision
11-27-2006, 08:30 AM
then there is always the sometimes overlooked 3rd kind of trash... the white trash ;)
yeah but you can't run that over.

Well you can't really pick it up either. Where is that puking emoticon when you need it.

MarcSmith
11-27-2006, 11:05 AM
I had a resturant and a hotel in orlando that was at the intersection of two heavily traveled roads. Lots of garbage. Both Voluntary from tourisuts guides and the such to people tossing stuff out of the windows from the passing cars.

I priced the service such that i would be there each week. if nothing more than to blow the parking lot and pick-up any loose trash.... Some times I got lucky and it was a quick drive through, and walk around, other times not so lucky. The key was I was charging for the service. Did I get upst when I haed to pick up Gtaorade bottles with urine tea, yup... But its what I was chargen them for...

When you pick up a comercial property you become a "Grounds" manager as much as a landscape manager. Trash blowing around a property will make any landscape look bad, as the shrubs will capture that trash.

Go find a nice cig. urn adn sell the property manager on it. Use it as a wayt to make more money....

Not being self ritcheous or anything, but there is alot of btching going on about things were you coud make more money. Rather than giving the clinet sticker shock each month with "extra chit" charges. Price the work into the contract. Call it your Class A service, or your Full service Contract whatever.

if you under bid a property becasue you did not notice the dog poo, or the trash, then maybe you did not do a thorough walk around when it was bid?

Make the grounds outside of the building somthing that the building engineer homeonwers or property manager doesn't have to worry about. Call it winter revenue, or what have youe, but I've pressure washed, and cold patched asphalt and minor concrete patching as well...

If my client needed to spend money on something that I could do, and I could justify that it woudl make the grounds/landscape more appealing. Imade sure that I made every effort to get that money.

topsites
11-27-2006, 12:04 PM
Lawn furniture, trash, dog poop, all that gets filed under the same category in my mind.

I think it's one thing to find the occasional obstacle(s) or even the occasional mess (like a big mess). I do have a yard or three where the customer has 3-4 kids and every once in a bit there's a dozen or better toys and things in the yard. But, we're talking once or twice a year or so.
Aggravating yes, but so long it's not a regular thing, tolerable.
As for a regular thing, there might be 2-3 things or so, again it's hard to say where to draw the line exactly, sometimes I think a half dozen ok but no more, but it's more of a feel thing, hard to describe.

I think the best way to describe it is, if it pizzes me off a lot, we're done LOL.
Thou I've got to the point where when I go out to estimate, if it looks like that, I keep right on going.
I done gave the last estimate for one of 'those' yards this year, no more.
It goes beyond even the hassle of picking it up, customers like that might call in september and educate me that their lawn isn't growing any more (as IF), stuff like that, it just never ends. Frustrating as well is when I don't see something and hit it with my mower and it takes a BIG chunk out of the blade, or better yet, wraps itself all around...
Tough coat-hanger wire wrapped around a hard-to-reach axle is loads of fun.
Or some other kind of damage.

My all-time favorite thou, is when it slices up a tire.

Precision
11-27-2006, 12:27 PM
Not being self ritcheous or anything, but there is alot of btching going on about things were you coud make more money. Rather than giving the clinet sticker shock each month with "extra chit" charges. Price the work into the contract. Call it your Class A service, or your Full service Contract whatever.



I agree. I often offer this as part of the contract on my commercial properties, but they decline as a cost saving feature or expressedly line this out and ask for a repricing. I allow this with the caveat that if they fail to keep it clean the failsafe of $60 per man hour kicks in and I count the hours.

Usually after the $60-$180 surcharge gets added on to the monthly bill a time or two, I don't have a problem with the garbage for quite a while.

for residentials I don't feel that I can charge enough to cover for stupid and lazy. Lawns that are like that when I come out get way overbid or just declined, and ones that grow that way after get surcharged as well. Time is money.

I would be happy to just include it at the stated price originally offered, but when they decline. I'm NOT doing it for free.

MarcSmith
11-27-2006, 12:41 PM
I agree. I often offer this as part of the contract on my commercial properties, but they decline as a cost saving feature or expressedly line this out and ask for a repricing. I allow this with the caveat that if they fail to keep it clean the failsafe of $60 per man hour kicks in and I count the hours.

Usually after the $60-$180 surcharge gets added on to the monthly bill a time or two, I don't have a problem with the garbage for quite a while.

for residentials I don't feel that I can charge enough to cover for stupid and lazy. Lawns that are like that when I come out get way overbid or just declined, and ones that grow that way after get surcharged as well. Time is money.

I would be happy to just include it at the stated price originally offered, but when they decline. I'm NOT doing it for free.

I realize that its a tough competition out there. but why even mention that trash/litter pickup is an option that they can opt out of. Its like aksing for the grass to be cut but no string trimming....

Many comercial properties have someone that they employ that is tasked with picking up the trash as well as other stuff, but thats the first job to get forgotten about when some other emrgency pops up.

I agree, you can't payme enough to deal with the habitual lazy's....But here I am. I've got about 10K lazy's on campus...not counting the staff....:laugh:

Adam's Lawn and Garden
11-27-2006, 12:50 PM
Hey,

The commercial lot i do these people smoke 24/7. They have ash trays, but no one throws them in there. So when i mow the building i always blow the sidewalks so i just shot them on to the parking lot. But there are ton's. then the guy has me go sweep them up like every once in a while. which isn't hard because they collect around the concrete parking blocks. the owner of the building and i have talked about it, but he doesn't want to do anything about it.

oh well

adam

Precision
11-27-2006, 02:37 PM
I realize that its a tough competition out there. but why even mention that trash/litter pickup is an option that they can opt out of. Its like aksing for the grass to be cut but no string trimming....

Many comercial properties have someone that they employ that is tasked with picking up the trash as well as other stuff, but thats the first job to get forgotten about when some other emrgency pops up.

I agree, you can't payme enough to deal with the habitual lazy's....But here I am. I've got about 10K lazy's on campus...not counting the staff....:laugh:

Again true.

I don't offer it as a separate service unless the bid sheet requires it that way or doesn't have it in there at all.

My normal commercial bid is full service, from mowing to tree work to fert to trash pick up. But you know how that works when the penny pincher gets hold of it.

Anyway the biggest thing is it isn't to be done for free regardless of if they pay us to do it or if we shock them into doing it themselves.

My thing is the safety clause creates a built in $ amount for when (not if) they don't do it.

ED'S LAWNCARE
11-27-2006, 05:45 PM
None of the properties that I do can hold a candle to my house. I live a a 2 lane "highway" 1000 ft of road frontage approx 12 wide before the fence. I will pick up the trash and it will fill up a 33 gal trash bag. The next day it's all over again. :cry: Damn litter bugs

nysuz
11-27-2006, 09:20 PM
I consider picking up trash as part of the job. We used to clean lots every morning at 6am with blowers. A good job just doesn't look right. Call me crazy but I get paid for my time on the job and charge accordingly. Picking up trash is an easier job than trimming shrubs and line trimming, whe shouldn't it just be part of the job. Too much attitude there. I tend to gardens and they throw trash in them. People are pigs and I can't stand to see trash on my jobs. Kids toys, dogs balls, whatever, pick 'em up. Not to many accounts that I don't charge by the hour. Most of them we have been doing for 15 plus years. Get there, walk around and assess weeding, mowing, etc. Line trimming, if it doesn't need it I don't waste the gasoline and I don't charge them for a service that was not performed, but I will pull weeds, deadhead flowers, pick up trash, clean up tree debris. Whatever it takes to make the place look sharp. Guess that is why we have been doing 30+customers since '93

dwlah
11-27-2006, 09:46 PM
None of the properties that I do can hold a candle to my house. I live a a 2 lane "highway" 1000 ft of road frontage approx 12 wide before the fence. I will pick up the trash and it will fill up a 33 gal trash bag. The next day it's all over again. Damn litter bugs

You must live next door to me I have the same problem at my house and one prop I mow up the road

RICHIE K
11-28-2006, 07:25 AM
We do one bank in a polish area nothing but vodka and beer bottles and human crap some times, the bank has us contracted to go there twice a weeks to always keep it clean along with the regular maintence all year long

Grass Kickin
11-28-2006, 10:10 AM
I think the problem here lies in that people might not be receptive to paying you to pick up garbage on their lawn. They expect it. So it is easy to say that you should charge extra but you might lose a customer because of that.