Taking turns with the garbage

37 posts in this topic

Posted

I live in a two family private house. My downstairs neighbor is also my landlord. When we moved in he established we'd take turns with garbage duty and alternate. We've been here four years and as time goes by I find myself taking this job over with increasing frequency.

The landlord travels frequently and has extended family/friends help with the house while they're away. They're all elderly (70-80-90?) so I don't know if they forget or what, but the problem with the trash is happening more often lately. There's an adult daughter living with them who we complained to and she simply refused to do it. Said it's not her job, sorry, she doesn't touch garbage. Her dad has someone to do it and it's that person's responsibility. I ended taking care of everything for the entire month that time with no forewarning or being asked, which would be okay if it was just once or twice and an honest mistake, but I begin to feel taken advantage of.

They've also begun to only do half the job leaving the rest for me to deal with after it's piled up double for an extra week, and that's a real pain in the behind. It's not *every* time, but enough till it's getting on my nerves. I just wonder if there's any precendent for this kind of thing? Any German law protecting the renter from having to take over household maintenance they didn't agree to?

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Posted

What kind of job exactly are you talking about? I really can't imagine it as you refer to garbage and then to household maintenance.

What is the time factor involved here? (when I think of taking out the garbage, it seems like a two minute job, so I guess you must be talking about something else).

Depending on the size of the job, I would suggest you approach the landlord in a friendly way and offer to take over the job altogether (since he and his family are too busy/forgetful/whatever to manage it on a regular basis) in return for reducing the Nebenkosten by X-amount (something appropriate to the work being done).

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Posted

I would suggest to refrain from asking for a reduction of the nebenkosten because they are so often away. They might answer that they are the once to get a reduction, because they are so often away (and don't use water or produce garbagge)...

What are you exactly doing? Going downstairs and carrying the bins to the street the evening before the Müllabfuhr comes? Or what?

Cheers

Franklan

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Posted

Kehrwoche isn't really enforced outside Swabia. And wouldn't include taking out the trash anyway.

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Posted

Maybe you can ask for it to be on a monthly basis and not weekly - that way, if they forget one week, they have to sort out the mess for the following week...or if they are not there, they will have to arrange for "Madam" to put the bins out(!)

Basically, it's not a big deal, and shouldn't become something that causes problems between the two households - you never know when you will need a good neighbour!

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Posted

The job consists of taking out the trash for a seven person total household, one family of which has frequent (at least once per week) get togethers which can total anywhere from 5 to 50 people. The job itself is spread out over three days, once each week. Time factor for one instance is anywhere from five to fifteen minutes.

Household maintenance was meant more like, literally maintaining the cleanliness of the living area, not plumbing or the like.

My problem is being expected to take over work I wasn't asked to do, not once or twice, but increasingly often, by people who are formal and correct about everyone else's behavior but their own. I also considered offering what you mentioned in the past but didn't because I doubt they'd agree to it. They're a different generation, different culture which admittedly I don't fully understand, and truthfully I find them rather odd. Good enough people but sometimes the things they do boggle me.

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Posted

I would suggest to refrain from asking for a reduction of the nebenkosten because they are so often away. They might answer that they are the once to get a reduction, because they are so often away (and don't use water or produce garbagge)...

What are you exactly doing? Going downstairs and carrying the bins to the street the evening before the Müllabfuhr comes? Or what?

Cheers

Franklan

Oh they produce garbage enough, what with the parties and the daughter and extended family living on there while they're away. I didn't think of it but it's safe to assume whatever reduction they can take they already do take. They give us an itemized list once per year so it's easily seen. I'll check it out. As for what I'm doing, they have a labyrinthine set of narrow stairs that have to be navigated carrying as many yellow bags as I can grasp to minimize trips. If those are left to me for a full month they can number 20-30 depending. Not so many you might say but I'm no spring chicken myself anymore.

Kehrwoche isn't really enforced outside Swabia. And wouldn't include taking out the trash anyway.

Thanks for the info!

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Posted

Send them a bill. 50 Euros for "Hausmeisterdienste".

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Posted

Maybe you can ask for it to be on a monthly basis and not weekly - that way, if they forget one week, they have to sort out the mess for the following week...or if they are not there, they will have to arrange for "Madam" to put the bins out(!)

Basically, it's not a big deal, and shouldn't become something that causes problems between the two households - you never know when you will need a good neighbour!

You're completely right, it isn't a big deal. I certainly wouldn't lose the friendship of a good neighbor over something as simple as taking out the trash. It's a shame they have though. ;)

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Posted

Just tell them that you don't think it's fair that you have to do the garbage more than half the time. In order to keep tabs, print out a calendar, hang it on the wall and x the weeks you do it. Your landlord can o the weeks he does it. As the calendar fills with x's and o's, it will be easy to see who is doing it more often.

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Posted

If those are left to me for a full month they can number 20-30 depending. Not so many you might say but I'm no spring chicken myself anymore.

20-30 Gelbesacks is a lot in a month. I wouldn't mind carrying a couple, but that many could mean a few trips. I like LeonG's suggestion, make a calendar and mark who does it when and if the daughter doesn't do it when it's their turn, then leave their sacks there and only take out your own - it's only fair.

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Posted

There's an adult daughter living with them who we complained to and she simply refused to do it. Said it's not her job, sorry, she doesn't touch garbage. Her dad has someone to do it and it's that person's responsibility.

It seems like there is a misunderstanding; speak to the Dad, and tell him that his 'man' is not doing his job.

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Posted

20-30 Gelbesacks is a lot in a month.

Actually, i'd say it raises questions at just how much trash your two households are producing. Or how full they are. If they're full 20-30 bags are about 1500 to 2000 liters. That's somewhere around five times as much as "normal"...

P.S.: Just checked on their website, the HEB in Hagen hands out 65 bags per household per year. I.e. about 10 per month (700l) for your two households together. Or in other words you're producing twice as much as the HEB considers maximum for private households.

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Posted

Then, if I'm not mistaken (and I've no doubt kato can correct me if I am), according to those HEB calculations Belle lily's landlord should actually be paying double his present annual fee for garbage collection. If the HEB collection staff became aware of that anomaly he may also find himself liable for back-charges plus an administrative penalty.

I imagine, rather than risking getting tied up in a bureaucratic paper war and eventually having to absorb such expenses he would find it preferable to take a more authoritative position with his daughter and extended family members. Seems to me that a diplomatic approach involving presentation of a factual assessment of the status quo, the foreseeable potential risk and the preferable solution might be the most effective way to tackle the problem.

2B

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Posted

As YorkshireLad already pointed out legally their rubbish isn't your responsibility. Seeing that they are not keeping their side of the bargain leave their rubbish where it is from now on and only take care of your own rubbish in future.

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Posted

They're all elderly (70-80-90?) so I don't know if they forget or what, but the problem with the trash is happening more often lately. There's an adult daughter living with them who we complained to and she simply refused to do it.

I'll bet you one yoyo after you stop doing it, she (the adult daughter) will catch on. Unless of course, she is a slob. Take care of your own things and all is good.

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Posted

If it's not in your rental contract that you are supposed to take care of all the yellow bags 50% of the time, you can stop doing it and just take care of your own but I think as a courtesy, you should talk to the landlord and explain to him why the 50/50 agreement is not working out for you. He may not realize that his daughter isn't doing it when he's not home.

Where I live, we keep the yellow bags outside in a niche in the wall. I take them to the curb on garbage day but since there's usually only 2 bags, it's not a big deal. If my landlady suddenly had a family of 7 living with her producing loads of yellow bags per week, I'd most certainly tell her I am not doing it any more.

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Posted

according to those HEB calculations Belle lily's landlord should actually be paying double his present annual fee for garbage collection

Nah, yellow bag collection is free. The question is more where they get the additional yellow bags, because if you need more than 65 70-liter bags you need to go to their main customer center and explain your reasons...

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Posted

Unless there is a specific clause or agreement in your rental contract, legally you are not responsible for anyone's garbage but your own, and only then if it causes a nuisance if you leave it in a shared or pubic area.

I was also wondering why you were taking out their rubbish too and not just dealing with your own. Is there no way of distinguishing between their bags and yours and just taking out your own (e.g. by marking your bags with a pen/tying something to them)? It's a good point LeonG makes that the landlord may not actually know his daughter is not taking his bags out. Perhaps you could just talk to him and point out what you've been doing and say that, e.g. because of back problems(?!), you'll only be able to deal with your own bags from now on?

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Posted

Nah, yellow bag collection is free. The question is more where they get the additional yellow bags, because if you need more than 65 70-liter bags you need to go to their main customer center and explain your reasons...

Not sure if we're on the same sheet of music here, kato, but in our region yellow bags or Gelbe-tonne (yellow wheelie bins) are used exclusively for plastic/metal foil/aluminium/styropor packaging etc.. I concur that they, like the paper & cardboard bins, are indeed collected free as their contents are a resale-able resource. I had understood the OP to be talking about regular garbage though and AFAIK that, like the Biotonne collection, may be a chargeable item.

FYI: Locally there's an annual charge depending on registered container volume (80L/120L/240L/660L/1100L) of 80/120/240/660 or 1.100€. Discount of 20% on Bio-tonne charges being offered to self-composters of biodegradable waste.

Additional collection amounts are charged an excess depending on the (same) volumes: 2,50/3,80/7,60/21,00 and 35,00€ per instance.

Assuming your own volume estimates were correct then I could see the possibility of the OP's commune, or their agents, catching her landlord for a healthy annual amount if they work on the same basis as they do here. (We even have a controller coming once a year to renew bar code stickers on the Tonnen for the scanners the collectors use.)

All I know is that, whenever he throws a large barbecue, my landlord takes somewhat extreme measures to avoid potential extra charges ranging from forced stuffing of bins to a 'you-bring-it-you-take-it-away' line on his invites. :) He happily packs little 'take away presents' too, for those who still have a hand free at departure time. :lol:

2B

ETA: I see the OP did mention yellow bags in one of her posts so she may indeed be using trash as a collective noun, but meaning recyclable waste in the German sense. Either way I agree with those posters who suggested she should simply stop doing it for the other parties in the house.

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Posted

in our region

Was looking up specifically yellow bags in Hagen.

If we took our local regions... well, down here in HD the only thing we pay for is the Restmülltonne (minimum 7 Euro rent for the bin per month plus about 4.2 cent per liter capacity per emptying). Everything else is free, unless you book one of the comfort options. The municipal trash company was making too much profit.

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Posted

*sigh* I appreciate you find it hard to concede any possibility that you may occasionally be fallible, kato, but rather than picking out 3 words from my post just to verify what I had actually pointed out (that you had specifically looked up yellow bags in Hagen) maybe you could have considered the possibility that if the OP is talking about Restmüll your advice that it was free may have been irrelevant to the OP's issue.

I posted my local general trash charges as an example because I had them on hand but, as you appear to think that required a counter-example from HD, I see little profit to you, me or the OP in continuing our exchange on this theme. I am beginning to find it rather sad that you are becoming so predictably pedantic in such matters though, as I used to be of the opinion that you were a well informed and most reliable source of helpful info on this site. :(

Until the OP tells us whether she is dealing with general trash (Restmüll) or recyclable plastic etc. (Gelbsäcke) we can't know for sure, but perhaps this might be useful to her:

post-89810-13627474635324.png Source

2B

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Posted

There's nothing pedantic about it. She's talking about trash bags to be brought out of the house every so-and-so many days.

Restmüll goes in a bin which is emptied regularly. There's no "fill up the bin exactly once every two/four weeks just before it gets emptied and store it in the house in bags in the meantime" rule, and i doubt anyone seriously does that with calculable predictability month after month after month. Also, the Müllabfuhr generally only takes the standard bins, not bags for Restmüll. You might have the option of bringing out extra Restmüll in additional bags, but then you always pre-pay for those bags (in Hagen: 3.30 Euro per 70-Liter bag, which is rather pricey).

Even if she meant all the trash then her amounts are worth a raised eyebrow, because they still are above the limits of normalcy.

Simple as that.

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Posted

She does say that it's yellow bags in post #7

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