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Why do missed trash pickups happen and what can we do?


July 16, 2021

It sucks and we want it to not happen at all, but it does: sometimes your trash does not get collected. We want to quickly go over a few possible reasons this can happen so that you can prevent missed trash pickups and know what you can do if it does happen.

Weather conditions or the holidays delay the pickup schedule

We’re currently in the season for snow storms, and this adverse weather condition may prevent garbage trucks from coming to the neighborhood or at least cause them to slow down, thereby necessitating fewer pickups per given time and leading to delayed pickups for some places. During adverse weather conditions, make sure to stay tuned for updates from local authorities and/or trash collection companies regarding pickups by websites and SMS. We give you a similar tip in regards to holiday seasons: stay tuned for how the pickup schedule will adjust due to holidays. Most often the pickup will be delayed by a day, but that expectation could be wrong because the pickup may be delayed by more than a day or even come a day early instead.

You didn’t pay your garbage bill

It is possible that a garbage truck didn’t come by your place because you didn’t pay your bill. This can happen not because you really couldn’t pay, but because the payment method was not set up properly and the company couldn’t reach you by phone or mail. It may sound like such an obvious thing to say, but please double check and make sure you chose a valid card, bank account, or another payment method and pay attention to communications from the collectors.

There is something blocking the garbage truck from picking up the trash

The most common reason we see at Haulla for waste haulers not being able to collect the garbage is an obstruction (most often parked cars) blocking access to the waste receptacle (dumpster). The second most is not being able to access it because it’s too far from the curb. There are all sorts of possible access issues people miss; for example, while the truck can access the bin per se, something like a tree branch can prevent lifting it. Please make sure the bin is accessible and there is no obstruction.

There is too much trash in the bin

If the container is clearly overloaded (overflowing) and/or overweight, the truck may not collect it and you may have to split the waste volume and call for extra pickups. If this happens often, the remedy is to change the bin to a bigger volume. Stay tuned for our blog’s upcoming post on information on choosing the right size of bins.

There are items that should not be in the dumpster bin

The workers may not collect the trash bin if they notice items that shouldn’t be in there such as electronic waste or hazardous waste like household chemical products, both of which should be dropped off at appropriate facilities. Bulky items like couches, mattresses, and other furniture should not be simply chucked in the bin, either. You should call for a separate pickup service, instead. Please check with the collection companies or local governments on what items can and cannot go in the general waste bin and how to dispose of those that don’t. Lucky for you, Haulla also services one-time junk removal so please feel free to fill out a quote request to get more information.

The collection company made an error

This is the one that we never want to see happen, but human errors do occur. Maybe you are a new stop; maybe the driver is new; maybe the routes had to change to accommodate new stops. Whatever the reason is, it’s annoying that you didn’t make any of the mistakes mentioned above and still did not get the service. You should promptly call the collection company or the municipal department responsible and they will rectify the situation. Haulla’s goal, of course, is to have this never happen, but when such error at the waste hauler’s end does occur, we give our customers credit on their accounts to make amends.


Having previously blogged on how harmful trash can be when left out for a long time, we understand the importance of having trash pickups at designated times without disruption. We hope this blog post has helped you prevent missed trash pickups with relevant tips and checklists. If you are experiencing issues with missed pickups and would like to find a quality waste collection service provider at an affordable price, contact Haulla today!