As we have been entrenched in this artic influenced weather pattern since late December, now is a good time to communicate our policies regarding extreme weather. Please note that these policies have been in effect for a decade and are relatively common in the northeast for this type of service.
I welcome any follow-up questions about our policies. They are in place to keep our employees safe and to minimize any risk to our clients.
Following is our Weather Policy:
When the wind chill is sustained in the single digits during daylight, we will suspend scooping. Our current deep freeze has frozen all waste solidly to the ground and any gates with a magnetic lock is likely frozen (this was the case last week and freezing has only gotten worse).
When there is as little as ½-an inch of snow, we may not be able to see dog waste (obviously, it depends on the size of the dog waste). When there is significant snow accumulation, we will make the determination as to when our employees will resume scooping (typically within 1-2 days depending on the specific circumstances of the storm) due to the following challenges:
Inability to see the bulk of the dog waste
Gates and walkways are typically not shoveled right after a significant snow
Ice (see below)
Just 2 weeks ago, one of our scoopers (fortunately one of our rare young scoopers) was trying to scoop as many yards as she could before the snow covered the ground and the dog waste. She slipped on an icy walkway on a client’s property. She was okay, thankfully. I too have slipped on an icy walkway and ended up on flat on my back (very similar to the polar bear pictured, but I was less graceful). I am very lucky I didn’t fall onto my head.
Ice and freezing becomes more of an issue after the snow has stopped. If snow remains on the ground, as temps rise during the afternoons and/or there is melting due to the sun, any melting that occurs during the day, refreezes overnight, often creating icy patches. This melt/freeze cycle, also cause the older piles to sink into and become completely frozen into the snow, making it near impossible to dislodge the piles.
While it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that their property is safe, we do not want to put our employees, nor the home owner at risk. Therefore, we advise all scoopers not to attempt to walk across any areas that even have the appearance of being icy, on any client’s property. This precaution may mean your yard does not get scooped if they can’t safely get to your gate.
Magnetic Gate Locks typically freeze inside of the magnetic mechanism, preventing us from gaining access into your yard. This may prevent our employees from scooping a yard, sometimes for multiple weeks in a row if temperatures remain below freezing for an extended period.
Raised Decks If you have a dog that poops on a raised deck when it has been this cold for a sustained period, it will have frozen to the deck due to the cold air under the deck. This type of waste usually won’t be able to be scraped off until the temperatures reach above freezing.
When the heat index gets to 105 degrees or above, we will suspend service to keep our employees safe. We ask our scoopers to try to get an earlier start to complete as much of their routes as possible (if not all) before temperatures reach this unhealthy level.
All of our policies exist to protect our employees as well as to protect the homeowner/client from any accidents occurring on their property.
Hoping you all stay warm and stay safe!