Community Featured Health & Environment

Reader Poll: Would You Support Same-Day Trash Collection?


The question of whether to change the rules around when residents can put their trash out by the curb was discussed at the June North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council meeting.

Many people believe the problematic rat population would be reduced if trash were put out the morning of pick-up, rather than the night before. Others think this will not solve the problem, and would be difficult for some residents to abide by, given various schedules.

What do you think? Would you support same-day collection? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Note: Web polls are not scientific, representing only those readers who choose to vote.

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38 Replies to “Reader Poll: Would You Support Same-Day Trash Collection?

  1. i have to believe that the majority of residents can put their trash out on the morning of pick-up. you can never accommodate everyone. this policy would do wonders for our neighborhood.

  2. I’m not sure about trash being put out the morning before pick up only because I have seen many an occasion where trash was put out after trash was picked up. It’s the mentality that there is really no care of when someone puts their trash out even after pick up as long as it’s keft on the sidewalk. I don’t know what the solution is I have never in all my life seen trash and rats as a major issue as of today.

  3. Putting trash out in actual trash bags, rather than piling it in open shopping bags that tip over, would probably help too?? I don’t know, maybe that’s too big of an expectation.

  4. The problem with same day trash pickup is that the trucks do not arrive for pickup at the same time each trash day. There are a lot of people on my street who try to take it out in the morning but when the truck comes at 10 AM some days then 7:45 other days then 9 AM the next day people are missing the trucks. then we have trash out for days instead of overnight. The trash pickers will adjust their schedules and I suspect so will also adjust. Get rid of the bottle deposit and you will not have trash pickers.

    1. Joyce S – if everyone puts their trash out by 7am regardless of when the truck comes, there is no problem. If only the few people who aren’t home at 7am put their trash out later the night before, say 10pm or midnight, instead of 5pm, the trash problem would be greatly reduced.

      1. People in the buildings managed by my property manager have been told to put it out by 7 AM and I still see them chasing the truck or putting it out when there is no other trash . There is a building on my street owned by a big company and the tenants put it out after trash pick up on trash days and anytime they feel like it on any day they please. Violations and increasingly nasty emails to the property manager of the that building do nothing. As a retiree I don’t particularly want to get up at 6:45 AM to take out my trash twice a week. I doubt that putting trash out at 10PM or midnight is going to solve or reduce the trash problem. The trash pickers will come out later and the rats feed at night anyway, Enforcing the regulations ( no cvs bags or whole foods/traderjoes/rochebros paper shopping bags or greasy pizza boxea (often with that last slice still in the box) and meaningful fines might help. Eliminating the deposit on beer and soda bottles and cans will get rid of the trash pickers. I agree that the problem has gotten so much worse but I am not convinced same day pickup is the answer.

        1. Joyce – You are clearly very concerned about this neighborhood. In that spirit, are you truly unwilling to take five minutes a week to take your trash down in the morning if it results in much cleaner streets?

        2. You make some good points ,but the chances of eliminating the deposit [tax] on bottles and cans are slim and none and slim just left town.

        3. Joyce, I agree that the bottle deposit makes the trash problem worse, much worse. I have seen public barrels turned inside out. Crony capitalism, so I don’t see the state steping in to fix the problem. One optoon not mentioned was having trash collected later in the day. Rats seem to be busier during the night, as are the trash pickers. During daylight hours trash pickers would be easier to police. Down side is tourists throwing trash onto trash.

  5. We also need to get back our Wednesday pick up for trash. The 2-day pick-up is not feasible. Bring back the extra day along with either a night before drop off or a morning drop off. I agree that the pickers will adjust there routine to rummage through the garbage either days.

    1. More pick up days means more trash on our streets more often, only making the problem worse. You’re thinking about this the wrong way…..

    2. I totally agree, this is a heavily populated residential area and we NEED 3 days a week trash pick up. Then we can put the trash out at 7 am in the morning on the day of the pickup. Asking residents keep trash in their apartments especially in summer for 5 days (Mon-Fri) is ridiculous. Recycling will not do any good, people have food scraps in the trash- it smells and unsanitary. If the city can have a firm schedule for morning pickup, then residents will not have to chase trucks. Also I think the landlords need to be fined if their tenants litter.
      I live on Salem street and we have one trash can by North Bennet school that is always overflowing. We need more trash cans on the street especially in the area where the restaurants are. People eat food on the streets and just dump their empty containers wherever.
      I can’t believe that City is not taking care of the neighborhood, we have so many tourists and they see North End dirty. It’s a shame really…

  6. SD – the North End should never go back to 3 day pick up, because it would mean having trash on the streets every day except Saturday. If folks would recycle more and compost or put all food scraps down the disposal, you’ll find that 2-day pick up is not just feasible but much better!

    1. Dan G – You are 100% correct on all points. I will add that one can always throws perishable scraps into a bag and place them in the freezer until the next trash day. Between doing this and your suggestions, I only take down trash once every couple of weeks. The solution to this problem is not that hard.

  7. I am just amazed that some people don’t seem to care about the neighborhood. I left home the other day and came across empty plastic to go containers, multiple white paper bags and dog poop. All on a small alley. It should not be that hard to pick up after yourself.

    1. SN, you just hit the nail on the head. If you have people living here that just don’t care no policy will solve the problem.

  8. Why don’t they have those big recyclable barrels every 3 buildings and then there would be no excuse ,,to put your recyclables out in a big barrel would solve a lot of problems,, if the city buys in bulk it won’t cost as much,,then the trash pickers can only make a mess there were there is no food,, just rinse those cans out good,, and bottles,, we have rat and raccoon problems over here in Malden and trash pick up is only once a week,, plus we have to pay 2 bucks a bag for our trash ,, I always remembered growing up trash day was Monday. Wednesday and Friday,,,there were never any problems because the trash was gone and this was before recycling,,trash composting,,the worst day was always a Saturday because every one ate fish on Friday and the trash stunk and by Sunday afternoon after dinner my mother had it the eggs from the meatballs,,the paper from the butcher,, but the funny thing was we all were clean had no trash problems,, even the sidewalks and the gutters were swept then gasp lit on fire ,,bleach or sifinatta was always on the stoops and sidewalks,, maybe the absentee land lords should take a lesson from old school about cleanliness,,it breaks my heart when I come Home,,,and see how dirty the north end has gotten,,

      1. Sidewalk,, every 3 buildings so there be no exuce ,, and maybe the landlords can have a cleaning company come once a week for a 150 dollars and clean the inside of buildings and sweep the sidewalk,,self pride and not expect the city to do everything,, we never did in the old days ,, clean yourselves,,we never had trash ,,rats,, only rats were water rats in the harbor,, and maybe a snitch,, and I know your saying to yourself here we go again the way it used to be ,, maybe it really wasn’t so bad ,, have a nice day

        1. Where do they go when they’re not on the sidewalk? Many buildings don’t have the space. Assuming you don’t mean these recycling bins STAY on the sidewalk every 3 buildings all week, who decides which building takes these recycling bins? And how does one building access these bins if its not in their building? I think there’s a little more to think through on this one….

          1. Nothing to think about,, I used to live on a court in Malden,, a court is a side street with 5 houses and no sidewalks,, the trash trucks had a hard time coming down the court,, so at the end of the court,, who the beginning of the court,, there were 4 big recycling bins ,, we just walked over to the bins and put our recyclables in it,, if any one had cans and bottles that were returnable we left them in a small recycling bin so the can pickers didn’t make a mess,, the 2 houses at the end didn’t mind taking turns putting the bins on their property because the court stayed cleaned,, plus paying 2 bucks a bag to put your trash out kinda sucks but maybe it’s not,, thank god for trash compactors in the home and garbage disposals,,it’s just a suggestion I’m not posting this to get bashed there’s gotta be a solution to this trash problem in the north end it’s not just the restraunts a,,it’s people who live there,, if you seem to have a idea please post it,, I don’t live there any more ,,but I’ll tell you one thing my parents would roll over in their grave seeing how dirty the north end has got,, Peace out

  9. I know where the photo was taken….Salem Street close to Prince. That is a lot of trash and obviously from a building in close proximity to the former tailor shop. Hate to say it this way, but the NE is filthy. Imagine what’s on the bottom of our shoes !
    Who knows the answer. Truck routes; timing; and also when to put out garbage issues all need a committee who can sit down with pen and large piece of paper and figure out routes. Are the routes set up for timely pick up, for example? Only 4 or 5 residents / engineers? Research included. This has become a pretty serious issue for the neighborhood.

  10. First of all I think that trash pick up should go back to 3 days a week. It was a huge mistake to remove the Wednesday pick ups. Secondly, the fines for trash violations need to be much higher. People do not care because the fines are so small, and also many do not even get cited because there is no one monitoring this situation. I see people walk out of their buildings and leave a trash bag on Fridays right after pick up and it sits there until Monday until the next pick up. Then rodents and garbage pickers come through and rip apart the bags everywhere. Also, we know that this time of year there are so many people moving in and out of the neighborhood, so there should be trucks going around the neighborhood at all times of the day to remove the trash that people just throw everywhere. This is not something new to us, we know people are moving in and out so have code enforcement around the neighborhood and have people monitoring the neighborhood so we do not have to be dodging furniture and trash for the whole month of August. We are the biggest tourist neighborhood and yet we are the dirtiest neighborhood because some people just do not care anymore.

    1. ” I see people walk out of their buildings and leave a trash bag on Fridays right after pick up and it sits there until Monday until the next pick up. ”

      If you see that, I hope you are calling them on it…if not, call 311 or use the app. It’s not perfect but it’s helpful and the folks the city has writing tickets for trash violations are very approachable if you see them on the street.

    2. The City removed the mid week trash pickup because of the large increase in cost in a new contract. Patrolling the neighborhood for just-in-time pickup should be much more expensive and make neighborhood traffic that much worse. Ideally it would be nice to have daily pickup 7 days a week. I don’t think taxpayers are happy with a solution that would cost more. Adjusting times might be the most cost effective solution to not having trash splayed all over the street.

  11. 3 days a week is not a solution. It will exacerbate the problem of trash, trash, trash, all over the NE 3 days a week. Who wants to see that? Who wants to deal with late pickups and bags out on sidewalks during the day?

    1. There were plenty of complaints back when there was a 3 day pickup. The complaints were the same, people putting out trash after the pickup, putting out trash out of cycle, improper container and trash picker ripping open bags. Two day cycle or three day cycle, hasn’t changed anything. People say the situation is worse, well it has never been good during the last 25 years.

      The fines have only gone up moderately. Fine notices are less frequent, and the City is doing less to assure the correct party is getting the notice. No one might like picking through trash for an addressed envolope, but if that’s your job and you can’t do it, time to move out. I have had to do it to avoid being fined for someone else’s trash. City people aren’t dong their job as well.

  12. Landlords and the City should be educating, and re-educating everyone on how and when to put the trash out. 3 days will only mean more trash on the streets – especially if it goes out the night before. Don’t put your food waste in your trash – keep it separate – then your trash won’t smell. There’s a new composting bin in front of the Nazzaro Center for garbage – but as usual the word never really gets communicated so everyone hears about it. If everyone separated their recycling and put bottles and cans in clear bags maybe the trash pickers could see them and not rip open the bags. The solution is for everyone to be aware, responsible and respectful of the neighborhood. Landlords or building managers should be responsible for educating all new tenants. Maybe a moving-in package would include the type of trash bags to use – heavy-duty black bags for trash and clear bags for recycling. As well as the trash schedule. The trash rules should be posted in every building. And people have to care and want to follow the rules.

  13. For years now, I leave a separate small plastic bag near the step of my property with the 5c cans in it twice a week. I explained this move to every picker I have ever seen, and told them “DO NOT RIP OPEN MY BAGS” If you do, I will call the police. They know the police cannot arrest them, but they listen and ~~~~~~They just pick up this separate bag and move-on !!
    The pickers got used to this, and do not rip open any recycle clear plastic bags of mine any more !! One problem solved ??

  14. Trash problems is NOT a new story, we have discussed argued and tried to decide how to make things better in our neighborhood~~~~
    The only reason for us here in the North End having these problems is ONE AND THE SAME~~~LAZINESS !!!!
    Also NOT CARING!!! OH they say they care~~~but obviously not enough !!

  15. I have to be honest I think everybody is exaggerating the issue. I was walking around town yesterday and the streets and sidewalks looked pretty good.

    Yes the two trash days can be tough on the neighborhood. Maybe a few improvements can be made. But other than that our streets and sidewalks are in great shape especially when you account for the amount of tourists around the neighborhood daily.

    Just an opinion from a guy who has lived here his entire life.

    1. Have you walked Salem Street and Hanover Street, to mention a few areas. You must admit the sidewalks are filthy. I doubt people are blowing this out of proportion. This blog could continue ad infinitum. We need a focus group. People who are willing to truly study this issue, perhaps 4 or 5 residents. Yes, a focus group is the answer.

  16. I was frustrated to see the one Hokey we have cleaning Hanover Street this week. Hanover and Salem Streets should be cleaned by businesses. The hokey should ONLY clean residential streets. I also think there should be a business aimprovement district on Hanover and Salem’s streets with money paid to clean up the neighborhood.

    I also think we need substantially more trash cans along the Freedom Trail. There are so many tourists and they don’t have any place to put their trash.

    I also think the Old Northchurch should hire some street cleaners (hokeys) now that they are charging for entry to the Church.

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