Am I obligated to pay a large retroactive waste management bill more than 6 months old that I recently received?
I have been living at a new address in Woodland, California now for about 8 months now. In the time since I've moved the City's waste disposal contractor (Waste Management) has picked up the bins on my street when I put them out (every two weeks or so).
I just recently received a bill in the mail from WM for over 260 dollars billing the total lump sum. My question is simply this, am I obligated to pay this large amount with no warning and no way to even anticipate an amount I would have to pay? I don't have the money to pay such a large sum. Their trucks have voluntarily emptied my bins up to this point. If they had their system together and billed me when I moved in I would have been able to manage my money to pay them. Please help me
2 Answers from Attorneys
I'd say you are obligated to pay. There may be places in California where trash and garbage pick-up is "free," i.e., the homeowner or tenant doesn't pay the utility or contractor directly, but in most places residents pay for trash and garbage pick-up the same way they get other services such as electricity, water, sewer, etc. Waste Management would claim, and correctly I believe, that in leaving your trash and garbage at curbside, you were requesting their service.
Even if there were problems with the billing you really cant get something for nothing. Without paying you have been unjustly enriched (or ripped them off)