Members of the South End Forum and a visitor from the Bay Village Neighborhood Association grilled Chief of Streets Chris Osgood for the City’s recent decision to have an earlier, 6 a.m. trash pick-up in the downtown neighborhoods – thwarting two years of advocacy that aimed at getting people not to put their trash out the previous night.
The discussion came up at the South End Forum on Tuesday night, June 4, when Osgood appeared to discuss a number of different initiatives – including a newly awarded trash contract to Capitol Waste that includes a new 6 a.m. pick up time.
“Trash is now going to go out the night before again there will be rats and trash and our streets will be a pit,” said Michael Almond, president of the Eight Streets Neighborhood Association. “We have spent so much time with you over the last two years begging our neighbors to put their trash out in the morning. We have finally got that and you’re going to reverse that all the way back and for no good reason. It’s going to be out longer and we’ll have rats to deal with – a lot more than before. It seem ridiculous what you’re proposing now.”
Said Moderator Steve Fox, “Every neighborhood association in the South End has been running a non-stop campaign not to put trash out the night before. Every bit of that work we’ve done for five years is now out the window.”
Nancy Morrisoe, chair of the Bay Village Neighborhood Association’s Public Services Committee, was also in attendance and said it was a bad decision to designation 6 a.m. – instead of the existing 7 a.m. – as the pick-up time.
“This 6 a.m. pickup just isn’t reasonable for so many households, especially doctors who work at Tufts Medical Center,” she said. “It just isn’t feasible…Instead of being out all day long, it’s now going to be out all night long and that’s worse for rodents. I’d rather have the trash sitting out all day.”
Osgood said the idea for the earlier pickup, which has been heavily publicized over the last two weeks throughout the city, is to help trash companies deal with traffic congestion.
Nowadays, he said, the companies either take recycling to Charlestown, or trash to Saugus, and they end up getting caught in traffic.
“They were getting caught in the congestion and that led to having pickups into the afternoon rush hour,” Osgood said.
He did say that they have shifted some things around to help the downtown neighborhoods a bit, particularly the South End. That will include moving the North End pickup from Friday to Thursday, allowing the South End to be the first pick-up locations now on Friday. Previously, it was picked up after the North End.
“On that one day they will be able to come to the South End first and that will lead to a less variable pickup time,” he said. “You will have the first pickup for Fridays.”
Almond added that with all the publicity, the City just doesn’t have the ability to turn things back around and change the pick-up time back to 7 a.m. He said it takes a long time to change people’s habits, and the word is already out that pick-ups will be earlier.
“This is like having the Titanic shift directions,” he said. “The word is already out that it’s 6 a.m. The damage has been done and now it’s going to go back to the way it was before.”
•COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINERS TO BE PILOTED
In happier news at the Forum, Osgood did announce that the Forum-inspired collapsible barrel idea will be piloted very soon at a neighborhood in the South End. The barrels are meant to help with getting bags off the street and to prevent trash-pickers from breaking into bags and tossing trash all about.
“We are interested in it and will be doing it,” he said. “We need to scope out the pilot.”