Homeless in Vancouver: Dumpster collection truck versus the balcony

This scene is from the alley between West 15th and West 16th avenues on the east side of the intersection with Hemlock Street.

What I was told by a resident who lives nearby is that earlier in the week, a Dumpster collection truck snagged a wire and caused the damage to the apartment balcony that is visible. Actually, the person left me to believe the balcony had been nearly ripped off the building, but that seems to have been an exaggeration.

I could only imagine this happening while a Dumpster was being raised over the top of the truck for emptying.

In this case the damage doesn’t look all that serious—it’s not structural—and no one suffered injury, but it can serve as a reminder what these behemoths are capable of.

I routinely see residents blithely walking around collection trucks in the back alleys of Fairview. The trucks can be stationary, moving, lifting or dropping a Dumpster—doesn’t matter—people will just impatiently go around them. Not me.

Several months ago I posted about watching a collection truck drop the Dumpster it was emptying—right into the truck.

I was keeping myself nearly a truck length back and that was a good thing.

In the weeks afterward, I had four collection truck drivers tell me it wasn’t that uncommon and when a Dumpster comes off the hooks, it doesn’t always fall into the truck; sometimes it bounces off the truck.

Imagine that next time you’re in a back alley and tempted to scoot around a stinky old Dumpster collection truck that’s blocking your way.

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