We did some painting in our house over the weekend. And, while it looks awesome, the rest of our house is in a bit of disarray, cluttered with all the junk that was kept in the room that was painted. Among it were a mattress and box spring and papasan chair which simply had to go. Rather than keep more clutter, we decided to put them out front in case someone would have use for them.

Unfortunately, as of this morning, they were not picked up so I had to face the real possibility that they would need to go with the trash. Our current waste disposal service has been a bit of a thorn in my side, since they suspended service for Hurricane Sandy. This coincided with our bi-weekly recycling pick-up. With all the recycling we had to go out from a get together we hosted the weekend prior, we were now staring down the barrel of nearly a month’s worth of recycling that needed to be put somewhere. Lately it’s been piled up in my kitchen much to my aggravation. But there’s simply nowhere else to put it.

So, I called the garbage company today and the woman could not have been nicer. I told her about the large items I needed picked up. I anticipated having to pay extra to have them hauled, which was fine with me. She told me we had the ability to place one large item out each week as part of our service, but I didn’t want to spread the disposal out any longer than it already was. The additional charge was only $30 extra to pick up the box spring and mattress, which I would gladly pay.

Regarding the recycling, she said it would be no problem to pick up all the extra, since they understood the back log we’d have built up due to the storm. As long as it was bagged and placed near the recycling bin, they would take it. Seems fair, I thought. But, since this is an ongoing problem, I asked if there was a way to have it picked up every week, even if it cost more.

When they rolled out the mandatory recycling program, their marketing materials cited that more of the stuff we throw away was recyclable than the stuff that needed to go in a landfill. But they pick up regular trash once a week, and recycling every other. You can see the logic here. Her only solution was to give us one additional bin, which gave me at least some place to put it. And, she offered to do it for no charge. I have no idea if they normally charged for it, but she did thank me for being so understanding about the situation. (I’m incredibly nice to customer service people, because their work is already hell.)

She may have cut me a break, but either way, I ended up getting off the phone feeling like I actually got something accomplished and rather satisfied with the whole situation. I think that I’ve been so jaded about customer service lately, especially after the useless humans I dealt with the last time we flew United. It was nice to know there are good folks out there who genuinely want to help me and are empowered to do so.