(WSVN) - At 5 a.m., you are sound asleep. At 5:01, a garbage truck is emptying a dumpster, jarring you awake, not once or twice, but for years. And across South Florida, when people couldn’t get the trucks to arrive later, they did the best thing: called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

One thing everyone has in common is the need for a nice quiet night’s rest.

Instead, Brian and Andrea get this.

Brian Zamorski: “You can hear it hit the trash can, the boom. While that’s happening, you’re hearing the metal slamming and slamming.”

And it happens way before Brian wants to wake up.

Brian Zamorski: “They all come at 4 in the morning. They’ve been here at 3:47 a.m., to be exact, in the morning.”

It’s a commercial garbage truck picking up the trash from Walgreens, which sits behind their house.

Brian Zamorski: “So our bedroom backs up to our wall, and you can hear the vibration on the window when they drop the trash can.

Andrea estimates that she’s contacted Walgreens 35 times to ask them to wait until 6 or 7 a.m. for the pickup, and yet this truck keeps pulling in every Friday morning.

Brian Zamorski: “For three years. Every week. It’s like, enough’s enough.”

Because after you hear this at 4 or 5 a.m., you aren’t going back to sleep.

Brian Zamorski: “We’re tired all day long. I’m tired all day long. I’m tired today because it happened last night.”

From South Dade to Dania Beach, where Robert has the same problem.

Robert Sims: “The commercial garbage truck’s coming by in the early hours of the morning. Sometimes it could be 4:30 in the morning.”

Driving by Robert’s house, banging the manhole cover to let him know they’ve arrived. Then, turning right and passing the side of his house.

Robert Sims: “Well, I don’t know about you, but at 5:30 in the morning, I don’t want to hear a garbage truck with a backup alarm and picking up a dumpster in the morning.”

While Brian gets awakened once a week, Robert wins the bad wake-up call contest.

Robert Sims: “Twice a week, I would say. It’s twice a week, but after two years, yeah, I’m a little frustrated now. Enough’s enough.”

All right, let’s start with Robert. Legally, Howard, can he stop commercial garbage trucks from picking up trash at businesses at 5 in the morning?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Yes. He lives in Dania Beach, where they have a clear and specific law that only allows garbage pickup between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Outside those hours, pickup is illegal.”

I contacted Dania Beach city officials. They were amazing. They told me they’d issue the businesses warnings and monitor.

It worked. The trucks started following the city code, picking up after 7 a.m.

As for Brian, I contacted Miami-Dade County. They said, “Call the police.”

Brian said that doesn’t work.

Brian Zamorski: “By the time I’m done with the dispatcher, with the operator, they’re gone. It’s just that quick.”

So, Howard, legally, what can Brian and Andrea do to get a good night’s rest in Miami-Dade County?

Howard Finkelstein: “Miami-Dade County has a noise ordinance which requires the police to enforce. That doesn’t work with a truck that’s gone in two minutes, meaning, you have to get the business to tell the garbage hauler to pick up after 7 a.m.”

I emailed back and forth for weeks with Walgreens. A spokesman then wrote, “We understand the impact on our neighbors. We continue to ask the trash hauler to change their hours of service.”

And finally, after three years, they did.

Brian Zamorski: “It’s the first week in a little over three years that we were able to get a full night’s sleep.”

Finally, no 4 or 5 a.m. wake-up calls, after that call to Help Me Howard.

Brian Zamorski: “You have a very good success rate. It was the first thing that came to our mind, you know, ‘We need to call Help Me Howard,’ and that’s the truth.”

Glad we could help, Brian, and if the truck reappears at 5 a.m., let us know.

Now, I did contact the trash hauler. They said they would get back to me, but Walgreens apparently got them to stop first.

If you have a noise problem like this, first contact the city or county, then contact the business and the trash hauler.

Someone trashing you? Think it’s a bunch of garbage? Dump it in our laps. We’ll sleep on it, then try to haul it away for you.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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