City Hall Blog (archived)

Don't fall victim to predatory contractors this fall

 by Allen Scott, Solid Waste and Recycling Director

Unscrupulous or Predatory, You be the Judge. These are hard times for everyone, but for some more than others. Many are working multiple part-time jobs (if they can find them) just hoping to hold their families together until better days arrive. Our hearts go out to anyone asking to do yard work or other odd jobs to make a little money during these hard times. Unfortunately, many opportunists also arrive on the scene promising work they don’t fully deliver and you can never find them after they walk away from the job. It is often impossible to tell them apart from those who you want to help and you may end up a victim.

Never pay for work in advance. Yard work and odd jobs are usually labor-only projects that require no purchase of materials or equipment rental. Wait until the project is completed and meets the standards you and your “contractor” negotiated in advance. It would be a good idea to write down the details and expectations in writing before work begins to avoid any misunderstanding at the end.

 

Know the rules that apply.  The City of Concord regularly receives reports that the “contractor” said “The City will pick up the limbs and black bags are OK.” This is not true. Within the City of Concord, if you hire a professional or pay someone to cut your trees, Sec. 46-33 (b) of the City Ordinances applies, saying, “it is the commercial operator’s responsibility to dispose of trees, tree limbs, and trimmings they generate. The city will collect these tree trimmings at the charge in effect at the time.”

Sec. 46-36 (h) applies to preparation of grass, trimmings, and leaves, saying “Grass, trimmings less than 12-inches in length, and leaves shall be placed in un-tied clear plastic or un-tied paper bio-degradable bags weighing less than 35 pounds each. Bagged materials are collected weekly on the scheduled waste collection day. Un-bagged loose-leaves are collected according to the published loose-leaf collection schedule.”

If you have any doubts, call the City first. The City of Concord Customer Care Center at 704-920-5555 can provide you with all the current rules regarding waste collection practices. A simple phone call can prevent you from being left holding the bag for that pile of limbs that are now at the road.

Don’t be afraid of being a Good Samaritan. Just do your homework so you don’t become the victim of the unscrupulous or predatory people who are seeking to make you a victim.