Event Notices Health & Environment

Meeting Report: Trash and Recyling in Downtown Neighborhoods

The following is a report from a meeting held this week with other Downtown Boston neighborhoods on the trash and recycling situation.

Meeting attendees:

-Various members of Beacon Hill Civic Association, as well as their Trash & Sidewalks Committee and Green Committee
-the Director of Chinatown Main Street
-a Member of Chinatown Benevolent Association
-Stephen Passacantilli
-Maria Puopolo, Office of State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz
-David Marx, North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC)

We went through each item on the current trash situation as it pertains to each of the 3 neighborhoods represented at the meeting.

The BHCA’s Green Committee created a survey in order to gauge the interest of increasing recycling pick-up on Beacon Hill. The survey took place from December 2012 through March 2013. It was emailed to all BHCA members and listed on Beacon Hill Patch. 532 residents responded to their survey. In the BHCA survey, 65% would like a 2 day trash/recycling schedule, 35% would like to keep the current schedule (3 days trash, 1 day recycling).

North End Trash Tips Sheet (click to enlarge)

This contrasts with the response to our recent North End survey’s identical question (56% vs. 44%, respectively), as well as 60% for 3 days/week and 40% for 2 days/week (in response to our survey’s question “How many days per week do you need the City to pick up your non-recycling trash?”).

The results of their survey were presented to the DPA’s Commissioner Massaro and Frank O’Brien, as well as the new head of Environmental Services.

The gentleman from Chinatown is going to implement a survey similar to ours.

We all seem to share the same trash and rodent issues (although our rodent issue seems to have improved somewhat).

Trash and recycling policies are the same in each neighborhood, although the Chinatown residents and especially the restaurant owners barely / rarely seem to recycle. BHCA members agreed that Capitol trash company is sloppy, etc.

We are going to each email 5 – 6 best ideas / practices to BHCA’s Trash & Sidewalks Committee’s chairperson this week, hopefully have the Chinatown survey implemented, await its results, arrive at a consensus and present our unified ideas / stance to the pertinent city officials.

Note: Beacon Hill residents and the BCHA, in particular, favor trash and recyclables being placed outside between 6 – 9am the SAME DAY as pick-up, and BHCA’s Green Committee is really pushing for more recycling. They are researching successful examples of trash and recycling policies (e.g. San Francisco, which only has 1 recycling day per week) to see what can be implemented in Boston.

5 Replies to “Meeting Report: Trash and Recyling in Downtown Neighborhoods

  1. I happen to be in the Beacon Hill area yesterday with 2 Real Estate Agents and inquired about
    all the problems we in the No. End deal with. Yes, they do have rodent problems, but not
    like the No. End, which stands to reason, we have more Restaurants & more Absentee Landlords, which are one of the biggest problems in the No. End. The big question I asked
    was about the Student Situation. They do not have the students the No. End has, and their
    streets are much cleaner then ours. These real estate agents said you do not see the broken
    bottles, empty been cartons, etc. all over the streets as you do in the No. End.; I have to agree
    with this, because seeing is believing and I frequent B.H. quite often with the hopes of finding
    property there. The No. End is Filthier than ever, and if anyone does not see this, they are
    in denial. The Absentee Landlords are renting disgusting apts. to students, which makes it
    feasible for them to rent and these students could careless about the Trash or the Rats running
    around the Neighborhood. The City was suppose to be investigating these Apt. Buildings in
    the No. End and I have yet to see one City Inspector going into these disgusting Apt. Bldgs.
    because if they have been out there, some of these properties would be considered CONDEMNED. Cameras should be put in Problem Areas and just maybe we can see who
    the culprits are, but that hasn’t been done either. The North End brings in a lot of Revenue
    what are they doing with it? The Absentee Landlords in B.H. take pride in their property, and
    North End Absentee Landlords look at these properties as nothing else but CASH COWS.
    If the No. End Landlords took pride in their Properties & fixed these Apts. maybe we would
    get a better Class of People who look at the No. End as their Homes instead of Partyville.

    1. all good and accurate points. perhaps the voters need to elect some new blood into office with new ideas and fresh ambition?

  2. I agree with this – the same model works for businesses. Renovate to a more upscale decor and menu offerings and you will attract clientele with deeper pockets. People are now paying $2500 and up for a nicely renovated 1br apt of about 700 sq. ft. Students can rarely afford those prices. Landlords should be pricing the students out of the neighborhood so they can stay in the real rat pits of Chinatown and Fenway.

  3. The issue of times and days that trash vs recyclable materials be picked up is vitally important to all residents of the North End. Several major problems would be mitigated if the time for putting out trash was moved from the current schedule to 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. of the day of pick-up. This change would minimize the amount of time available for the ripping open of trash bags by people in search for refundable bottles and cans the night before which in addition provides the rodent population easy access to their food source. I admit this change won’t completely eliminate the problem but it would go a long way in lessening the problem.

    On the issue of days for pick-up of recyclables, the size of the rental units and the amount of space in any given building in the North End is limited and discourages owners and renters alike from storing their recyclables from Saturday to the next Friday. On Monday and Wednesday mornings trash pick-up, you can see a substantial amount of recyclables that have accumulated since the last Friday pick-up. It makes sense to seriously consider a second pick-up day for recyclables.

    On another matter of recycling, if the City was really serious about increasing recycling, they would require the food vendors to recycle the many thousands of cans,bottles, plastic cups and plates that are disposed of as common trash instead of recyclables at our North End Feasts.

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