Boston Public Works Department liaison Frank O’Brien updated residents on trash policies in the North End with an emphasis on options being considered as part of the new trash contract set to go into effect on July 1, 2014. Special assistant to the Mayor, Stephen Passacantilli, was also on hand to answer questions.
Two haulers, Capitol Waste and Sunrise Scavengers, have responded to the city’s request for proposals for residential trash pickup.
A bid is expected to be awarded very shortly as the City considers a later pickup time (9 a.m. instead of 7 a.m.) where downtown residents would put out trash in the morning only, rather than on the streets overnight. Same day pickup was the subject of a recent City Council hearing where many North Enders testified in support.
O’Brien fielded questions from the audience about why the costs are higher for a later pickup time. He answered that the pickup window would be constrained by the time haulers need to get trash to transfer stations. This would require more trucks and workers and adding approximately $5 million to the city’s cost. The total cost to pickup trash in the city of Boston is about $40 million, according to O’Brien.
If the pickup time remains at 7 a.m., Public Works is considering changing the time when trash can be put out on the streets. In the South End, a pilot program had residents placing trash out only after 9 p.m. instead of the current 5 p.m. policy.
An additional recycling day is also being discussed, largely supported by downtown residents. Currently, Friday is the only day of the week when recycling is picked up. The city is considering changing the day to one earlier in the week.
If there is a change in the pickup hours or recycling days, a future neighborhood meeting is expected to be scheduled once the bid is awarded.
An internal shift at City Hall has moved Code Enforcement to within the Public Works Department. This combination is expected to result in more efficient enforcement of trash regulations and green tickets.
Separately, Public Works will be replacing deteriorating parts of the Freedom Trail line this summer with a new type of thermoplastic material designed to look like the brick part of the trail.
Please view the video for the full discussion from the NEWRA meeting on May 8, 2014.