Letter to the Editor

Regarding the South End Forum meeting

The following letter was submitted to The Boston Sun for publication.

Dear Chief of Streets Chris Osgood,

This is to follow the recent meeting at the South End Forum on June 4.  Clearly we are NOT the only neighborhood with significant concerns about starting trash pick-ups before dawn.

First, I DO appreciate your efforts to improve the efficiency and hold down on the costs of trash collection. But I think that you know now that it would have been good to seek community input rather than inadvertently sabotage years of community efforts to minimize the extent of human and animal rummaging through trash.

10-second elevator speech:  Since residents of many neighborhoods can put out their trash in sturdy metal or plastic cans, which can be put out overnight with limited risk of being scavenged or damaged by weather, start the city’s pick-ups in those neighborhoods and start the pick-ups for the neighborhoods whose only practical option is using plastic bags later, after 7 a.m. 

Otherwise, rather than getting up before the sun does, especially in winter, primarily to put out the trash, a vast number of people will put their bags out before going to bed, leaving hundreds, maybe thousands, of relatively fragile bags of trash to the whims of weather and of two-legged and four-legged scavengers.

The total Level of Effort (LOE) for this approach, which would accommodate the circumstances of essentially everyone, should be no more than the current proposed strategy, which would inconvenience hundreds of people for no good reason, and given the sharply reduced likelihood of trashed trash, it could even result in a lower LOE.

It would also help if the city could provide realistic timetables for each neighborhood and sub-neighborhood when it could expect its trash to be picked-up.

Ed Allan

Milford Street

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