South End, Bay Village to Move Ahead on Collapsible Trash Bin Pilot

The South End neighbors are aligning with some Bay Village neighbors to begin a pilot this summer on the collapsible trash barrel idea that many believe will help solve difficult trash issues in the downtown neighborhoods.

South End Forum Moderator Steve Fox, and Nancy Morrisoe of the Bay Village Neighborhood Association, have been gathering supporters for the idea of using the collapsible containers – and they’ve found ample support from City leaders like Chief of Streets Chris Osgood.

“I’ve become the cheerleader for this, but I don’t know what else we can do in terms of trying to containerize our trash,” said Fox. “We may not be able to get everyone, but if we can get 40, 50, 60 or 70 percent, that’s a big chunk of trash that won’t be on the curb. Once people start seeing it and it becomes a cultural norm, then others will decide to also use it…I really think that can make a huge difference in the problem.”

The lightweight, collapsible bins solve the problem in the downtown neighborhoods of having to put trash bags directly on the curb – where rodents feast on them and trash pickers scatter debris. Most in tight neighborhoods downtown do not have space to keep a barrel, such as in the neighborhoods where there is more storage. The collapsible bins are able to provide that barrel, and then can be folded up and stored inside very easily. They are also waterproof and have handles too.

The neighborhoods are now looking for places that want to pilot the program, and the City has pledged to support it by purchasing the initial collapsible bins.

Fox said the one possible downfall to the collapsible barrels is what happens to them when they go out during inclement weather or windy days.

“I’m really not discouraged by that because I’ve started to think of the possibility of working that out and someone figuring out a way around it,” he said. “There is the possibility of a custom-made Boston container in the future. If we get enough interest and residents using it, the City may come up with its own specifications and sizes like they have done with the large blue barrels.”

The containers will not be for recycling yet, but only for trash. However, if it is successful, then recycling may be added to the collapsible barrel program.

Right now, the pilot is limited to 30 households on East Brookline Street, and Bay Village is still working out its target area.

Participation is 100 percent free and voluntary and the pilot looks to start on Aug. 1.

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