Thursday, July 02, 2009

What year is it again?

I'm not going to say how many years it's been since I paid for a City of Durham yard waste collection sticker. I don't want to embarrass the city by publicly announcing how long it was possible to go on getting my leaves and shrub trimmings picked up without paying for it. Apparently the city is now cracking down, however. Tuesday I found a little notice sticking out the top of my still-full bin that said my yard waste wasn't picked up because my sticker is expired. (Way, way, way expired, to be exact.)

Fine, I've had so many years of free pick-up that I suppose I'm getting a bargain for my $60 fee at this point. And the alternative would be to buy a chipper and then spend a bunch of my yard-work time running everything through it and then buying or building a bigger compost bin to accommodate it all. Meh. I'll give the city some money.

The little notice instructed me to call a phone number (which happens to be the Durham One-Call number), but I figure this must be something I could take care of online. I mean, how hard would it be for me to fill out a web form, have the fee either billed to a credit card or added to my water bill, and then receive my cart sticker in the mail? Well, apparently the City of Durham thinks it's still 1990, because my options are a) Print a PDF form off of the web site, fill it out, fax it back and then wait to see what happens or b) Call Durham One-Call and talk to a person, who possibly may hook me up with a yard waste sticker or, if my previous experiences with the City of Durham are any guide, will probably tell me to go to the web site, download the form, fill it out, fax it and wait.

To test my hypothesis,I'm calling the number right now ...

... wait for it ...

I am correct!! If you call the number and ask to order a yard waste sticker, the nice lady tells you to go to the web site, print the form, and fax it in. You can't see me but I'm rolling my eyes. Oh Durham, you're such a hopeless dork.


SteveG said...

Yes, this is in item that increasingly frustrates me. Same issue for renewing our dog park tags - you can't do it online. We have to either renew in person, or mail it in. There isn't even a fax in option.

Even worse, they note on both the renewal post card and their web site that the fee's have gone up as of July 1st. How much? Heck if I know - they don't say and direct the reader to call or email. I've emailed so we'll see what they say.

Sometimes Durham doesn't make it easy to do the right thing.

Lisa B. said...


Oh, and I got my yard waste sticker yesterday. The envelope had been hand-addressed.

SteveG said...

Yes, I recall that our most recent yard waste sticker was similarly hand addressed. Makes you wonder just how few Durhamites actually participate in this program.

As for the dog park, I got an almost immediate response from Lorita in DPR. The fees have gone up to $15 per dog with not multi-dog discount. But that's only good until Aug 1, after which it goes up to $17 unless you have one of their new Play More cards, which are $20/year.

Even with the $13 combined increase for our pack of three pups, it's still a good value. Only $1.25/month per dog. But they had better get the water spigot turned back on at the Northgate Dog Park.

Lisa B. said...

That sounds like a task for Durham One Call!

I don't participate in the dog park. Too much bureaucracy to go through. I just take them to the huge, free dog park in Myrtle Beach when I visit my mother. It has a pond, too. That's my idea of a proper dog park.