This is the third year since the trash collection schedule changed in the North End and many of the Downtown Boston neighborhoods. In July 2014, a new 5-year city contract with Sunrise Scavengers eliminated Wednesday’s trash pickup, and moved to a 2+2 plan with recycling and trash collection on both Mondays and Fridays.
The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) recently heard from Frank O’Brien at Boston Public Works on how the changes are working out. The intent was to increase the recycling rate and reduce the amount of time that trash is out on the streets by going from three to two days.
Recycling rates have increased by 17% in downtown Boston since the 2+2 changes. O’Brien said he has received general feedback indicating a preference for Thursday pickup instead of Fridays and that could be something to revisit when the contract comes up in 2019.
NEWNC President John Pregmon questioned whether the changes have actually reduced the time that trash is on the street, as intended. The recycling pickup is often very late in the day so bags are on the street for an extended period of time. He also noted that student move-in weekends in late August/early September tend to cause problems, especially when there are simultaneous feasts.
Trash pickers were also noted as an ongoing problem, which O’Brien said falls under Boston Police for enforcement. Council members also clarified private commercial pickups by businesses regarding the use of containers versus plastic bags. Bags are allowed, but containers are preferred.
View the video for the full discussion.