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Dear PoPville – Is the 311 App Actually Improving Efficiency?

by Prince Of Petworth July 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm 13 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012

Dear PoPville,

A few weeks ago I used the 311 iPhone app to schedule a bulk trash pickup. My wife and I just moved in together and I was getting rid of some of my old furniture. Using the app, I submitted my request and I received an email immediately with my scheduled pickup date – July 9th. Nearly two weeks went by and we finally moved the bulk items to the front curb (we don’t have an alley on our block). On Monday morning (our regular trash day, for what it’s worth) DPW came and took approximately half of the bulk items. Frustrated, I called 311. The rep claimed that DPW probably ran out of space in the truck and she rescheduled another pickup for the next morning. Today, DPW either didn’t come or they came but didn’t take the rest of the items. I called 311 again, and discovered that my address had been entered into the system incorrectly.

The problem, it seems, is that the 311 system and the 311 app are not in sync when it comes to recording addresses. For example, my request was submitted through the app with my actual address – it even has my exact address in the comment of the service request; but the 311 system recorded it as the address two doors down. Did DPW show up at the neighbor’s house, not see any trash out front, and decide not to take our trash because it didn’t match the address on file? I suppose it’s possible. In any case, with the 311 app out of sync with the 311 system, it’s hard to imagine that this is actually an improvement in efficiency.

Sorry to my neighbors who have had to deal with this eyesore for the past 2 days – I sure hope DPW comes through tomorrow (on attempt #3).

Anyone else have problems with the 311 app? Anyone have success with the 311 app?

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