Sorting the trash

Authority City of Vancouver

Aaron noticed that his garbage and green waste had not been collected on his scheduled collection date. He called the City of Vancouver and was told it would be picked up soon. His green waste was collected a couple of days later but his garbage didn’t get collected until a month later. He had to get rid of his excess garbage at his own expense. When Aaron contacted the city to find out why his garbage had not been collected, the city would not give him an explanation. Although Aaron wasn’t overly concerned about the delay, he thought it was unreasonable that the city wouldn’t provide him with the reasons for it. So he contacted the Office of the Ombudsperson for help. We investigated and found out that there had been equipment issues that delayed garbage and green bin collection. Once Aaron called, service requests were created for both his garbage and green bin to be collected, but once his green bin was collected, both service requests were closed. We also found that the city had failed to escalate Aaron’s subsequent calls to the Solid Waste Department and that staff indeed had not provided Aaron with an explanation for the delay or told him he could request information thorugh the city’s Access to Information Office. As a result of our investigation, the city reviewed its enquiry and complaint handling process to ensure that complaint files are reviewed more carefully. The city also committed to taking steps to ensure its staff accurately advises callers about the steps they can take to get information. Finally, the city agreed to write to Aaron directly, explaining the reasons for the delay in his garbage collection and explaining the steps taken to ensure requests like his are properly dealt with in the future. 

Category Local Government
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2017