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Old January 4th, 2015, 09:43 PM   #29741
Penn's Woods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
really?
Quote:
Originally Posted by keokiracer View Post
He just steals it from his neighbours
Landlords here don't charge for it. ("Here" in this instance meaning Philadelphia; no idea what it's like in the rest of the country.)
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Old January 4th, 2015, 09:49 PM   #29742
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Landlords here don't charge for it. ("Here" in this instance meaning Philadelphia; no idea what it's like in the rest of the country.)
does the same arrangement work for electricity, Internet, sewage, trash collection/disposal?
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Old January 4th, 2015, 09:49 PM   #29743
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Landlords here don't charge for it. ("Here" in this instance meaning Philadelphia; no idea what it's like in the rest of the country.)
Or perhaps reflected the water costs in rent
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Old January 4th, 2015, 09:52 PM   #29744
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Well, right. But the rent's the same every month, so if the water charge fluctuates seasonally....

Bottom line is I've never paid a water bill.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 10:02 PM   #29745
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It is common practice here as well. Group of owners break the charges down into two parts: regular rent (stable) and energies (depends on consumption), while another charges it as a whole.

The second one is the same as hotel. You can literally open the taps and let the water run, you'll be charged the same as if you have not used a single drop. Or heating: basically winter clients should be charged more, but no one give a hoot. It is somehow averaged and calculated to annual costs.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 10:06 PM   #29746
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Here in Netherlands my landlord collects a monthly charge for utilities (each one). Afterward, they measure actual consumption and give refunds or charge extra accordingly.

I slashed my electricity consumption by going all-LED for lighting.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 10:28 PM   #29747
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That`s so weird. I don`t know if I could accept paying such charges to landlord (I`d be OK paying electricity or gas bill, but only directly to the supplier company on my own account)

Typically where I live, if you have a rented apartment, heating, water is included in rent, but electricity is not and you have your own meter and account with the power company.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #29748
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That`s so weird. I don`t know if I could accept paying such charges to landlord (I`d be OK paying electricity or gas bill, but only directly to the supplier company on my own account)

Typically where I live, if you have a rented apartment, heating, water is included in rent, but electricity is not and you have your own meter and account with the power company.
The landlord actually just collect the money and pays the utility companies.

There is ample reason for "unbundling" of utilities, namely to avoid waste. I'm not the person who would let water run all day if it were included in the rent, but I probably wouldn't think and consider as much energy labels of appliances or buy LED lights if I couldn't realize any savings for it.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 11:00 PM   #29749
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wow... a winter thunderstorm here... with lightning and thunders... Not a common phenomenon in general. First I thought some morons did not fit the right date for fireworks.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 11:04 PM   #29750
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That's called thundersnow. It's actually quite rare.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 11:06 PM   #29751
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does the same arrangement work for electricity, Internet, sewage, trash collection/disposal?
Not consistently.

I didn't pay for electricity in my first apartment (if you wanted to have an air conditioner, you had to say so, though, and pay an extra $25.00 a month); I do since. Same with gas, except apartment no. 2 didn't have it. (I had it in no. 1, but didn't pay; have it now and do pay.)

Internet and cable are on me - some luxury buildings may include them in the rent, though.

Never paid for sewage.

Trash collection is provided by the city, except in my current building, the landlords prefer for some reason to have a private contractor do it. (But there would be nothing to stop me from leaving my trash on the street Sunday night for Monday morning pickup...that's the day they pick up in this neighborhood. And even in this building we're asked to put recyclables out for city pickup.) What it costs the landlord, whether the city or the contractor does it, I don't know.
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Old January 4th, 2015, 11:09 PM   #29752
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That's called thundersnow. It's actually quite rare.
Yeah... it is... and usually much weaker than summer ones. Nevertheless the likelihood of positive lightning is much greater. I've observed only cloud-to-cloud lightning but this image shows positive ones occurred as well.

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Old January 4th, 2015, 11:10 PM   #29753
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
That's called thundersnow. It's actually quite rare.
I don't know that I ever heard the term before this guy...:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPm4vUILinQ
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Old January 4th, 2015, 11:28 PM   #29754
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I've been always fascinated by positive lightning (aka lightning from the blue). Unfortunately, never had enough luck to observe it, neither taken a photo thereof. They are more frequent in winter, but how can you enjoy them with the stupid fog all around.



Have you guys known that current aircraft are not built to resist them?
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Old January 5th, 2015, 02:15 AM   #29755
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The landlord actually just collect the money and pays the utility companies.

There is ample reason for "unbundling" of utilities, namely to avoid waste. I'm not the person who would let water run all day if it were included in the rent, but I probably wouldn't think and consider as much energy labels of appliances or buy LED lights if I couldn't realize any savings for it.
I think that contracts that estabilish a flat rate for electricity and gas should be illegal for this exact reason.
Saving energy is not just a matter of private economy, is for the sake of Earth! People should really be educated and encouraged to do that and a flat rate doesn't help in that. Saving energy should be a civic duty, like not dirtying or vandalizing public property.
EU already make some efforts to estabilish a minimum efficiency level required to home electric appliances and to ban inefficient and old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in favour of the more modern and efficient CFLs and LEDs.
In the 1950s an economist said that due to nuclear, electricity will became to cheap to meter, but being green wasn't a priority in those years.

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Trash collection is provided by the city, except in my current building, the landlords prefer for some reason to have a private contractor do it. (But there would be nothing to stop me from leaving my trash on the street Sunday night for Monday morning pickup...that's the day they pick up in this neighborhood. And even in this building we're asked to put recyclables out for city pickup.) What it costs the landlord, whether the city or the contractor does it, I don't know.
Just for curiosity, how does trash collection work in your country? Can you take it do the dumpster whenever you want or do you have to place it in the street at a certain hour and day for pick-up?
In Italy even municipality has its own rules.
Where I live, there are different dumpster in the street, one for every type of trash. I can dispose my trash 24/7. It's practical, but some people put into dumpsters items that shouldn't be placed there and it's impossible to fine them, as a dumpster in the street can have been used by anyone.
In other places there are no public dumpsters, but scheduled pick-up, each time for a different type of trash. People can't take their trash out whenever they want, but since each bag in the street is associated with a family, they are forced to divide their trash properly, to avoid fines. In some municipalities, more than 80% of trash is being recycled.
In Italy the garbage tax is related to house's size, that is quite silly, as a bigger house doesn't generate more garbage.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 03:13 AM   #29756
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I'm not answering for my country, just for the little bits of it for which I know how it works. Essentially Philadelphia and my home town in New Jersey.

In Philadelphia, there are employees of the Streets Department (of the city government/administration) who do pickups at set times, different days in different parts of the city. In my neighborhood, it's Monday mornings. You put trash at the curb after 7 p.m. the evening before (any earlier, and you can be fined, as my landlady occasionally feels the need to remind us). At the moment of this writing, it's 7:55 p.m. but pouring, so I'll put my recycling out later - I've got some cardboard and such; if I put it out now it'd fall apart in the rain, which isn't nice for the pickup guys. As I've said, my building (8 apartments plus the landlord's residence) has a separate contract for pickup of non-recyclables...we put that in bins in the basement, indoors, so for me it's just the recyclables that are done Sunday evening (or Monday morning - they seem to come around 8 a.m. so you can catch them if you're up). I don't know what the schedule is but when I put some downstairs yesterday morning the bins were empty.

I've never paid for any of these services, but if the contractor or the city is charging the owner anything I assume it's being taken into account when they set the rent.

Philadelphia city government also has three recycling centers where you can drop off anything that would be recyclable curbside plus some things that aren't. Electronics, for example, although the last time I had something like that to get rid of (a broken TV), it was still in the trunk of my car when the church across the street offered electronics recycling as part of a Christmas bazaar. No cost to use the recycling centers but you need to show proof you live in the city.

My workplace has its own contractor and encourages employees to bring in things that they can't dispose of safely elsewhere. The only thing I've had occasion to use that for is batteries (which I think I'd otherwise need to take to a recycling center - don't think I can leave them at the curb).

In my home town (my mother still lives in the same house), trash pickup is handled by a private contractor. They have a deal with the township (the municipality) that authorizes them to pick up trash, but the homeowner still has to pay for it. I guess you could call it a franchise, like a cable TV company has a franchise that makes them (in most places) the only one serving a given area. No idea what the cost is. Pickups were Monday and Thursday mornings when I was growing up. I know from my mother they still do a Monday pickup (I'll take care of getting it ready when I'm there on a Sunday) and recycling on Tuesday. No idea if there's still a Thursday pickup as well. They weren't doing recycling when I was growing up in the 70s (but non-profits like the Boy Scouts or my high school band would hold "drives" from time to time when you could bring, say, old bottles and newspapers that they would then sell to someone who'd recycle them).

I know New York City has a Sanitation Department...as I said, here it's the Streets Department; the same workers handle trash and snow removal, so last winter when we got lots of snowstorms, that threw off the schedule at times (and if it's actually snowing heavily on Sunday night, you're not going to want to put stuff out and they'd have trouble picking it up anyway). In those circumstances, we get an e-mail from the owner of the building. But I'd guess it's typical for larger cities to have public employees doing this and smaller places (or ones with more "fiscally conservative" voters) not to.

Requirements about recycling and such are set at the state or local level. I suppose the federal government could mandate certain things, but I don't know if they do. Incandescent light bulbs have already been banned (retailers are allowed to sell out their stock, but none can be made); that was federal.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 04:46 AM   #29757
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Here in Venice trash collection has its very special rules, due to the particularity of the city itself. There's no space for trash containers, neither on the streets, nor inside the homes (i.e. historical houses usually have no courtyard or gardens). The city is pedestrian, so you can't ask people to bring trash far away.

So you just leave your bag of trash out of your home on the street, between 6 and 8 am, and they collect it after a while.
They collect unrecyclable trash every day (except Sunday and holidays). In addition to that, they collect recyclables are every other day: Mon, Wed and Fri for paper, Tue, Thu and Sat for multi-material (plastic, glass and metal).

In order to recognize the recyclables, you need to use a paper bag for paper, and apply a special sticker on multi-material. The city regularly sends envelops with stickers to all the houses.

As far as electronics + batteries and fluorescent bulbs are concerned, there's a boat waiting for them some hours a week, in the very centre of the city next to Rialto bridge. There are also some containers for them, in the city malls. If you need to dispose of big stuff, you take an appointment and it's free up to a cubic meter of stuff.

Needless to say, the system works very well. They're planning to introduce the recycling of organic (food) waste too, to free some capacity in the local incinerator and produce bio-gas.

The tax for trash collection is approximately 300 euro a year for a 100 square meters apartment with 4 people inside.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 04:53 AM   #29758
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How was your stay?
We arrived, finally home. I'm pretty tired after driving a little over 3 hours at night now.

My stay was great, saw some very nice places.
I can give more feedback later.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 08:24 AM   #29759
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Been in Munich city centre all day yesterday - work related. Had to do a shopping tour with Russians. It is truly one of the prettiest and laid-back cities in Germany and perhaps Europe.

Marienplatz:



Interesting note: When you're on the A8 coming from the south and you keep on going straigh ahead at the terminus, over the Rosenheimerstraße until you can't go any further, you'll end up right at the Marienplatz, the most famous square of Munich.

Last edited by Road_UK; January 5th, 2015 at 08:29 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2015, 02:56 PM   #29760
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I was in Munich on June 13, 1986. (Centennial of the death of Mad King Ludwig, as it happens.) High temperature was 9C....
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