Eight Streets Looks at Ideas to Manage Trash

The Eight Streets Neighborhood Association is considering several possible solutions to managing their trash before the summer months hit and the rat population begins to feast once more on rubbish.

The options include night pick-up, new collapsible trash barrels, more enforcement on trash pickers and trying innovative methods such as have been used in Europe.

“All of these options, none are perfect,” said President Michael Almond. “There have to be trade-offs.”

One of the ideas being floated around the neighborhood – particularly in the brownstone neighborhoods where there are not building dumpsters or room for traditional trash barrels – is a new collapsible trash bin. That got a good review earlier this year at the South End Forum but didn’t go over so great at Eight Streets.

“It’s a good idea until it’s windy; they’ll blow everywhere,” said one neighbor.

Most believed that it was just too complicated and wouldn’t end up working out.

“It’s not going to be perfect and it’s not going to stop rats from going in there,” said Almond. “These are marginal improvements.”

Some neighbors said the collapsible barrels might work if they were disposable, but no such thing exists at the moment.

One resident said he has seen a system in Europe where they have community barrels that take up about one parking spot and have the trash underground. Trash trucks come around and pull a cylinder out of the underground chute, empty it, and then put it back. That received a very good response, but it was also deemed to be rather pricey and would take away a parking spot.

The idea of having pick-ups at night was not well-received either, and that idea was beat back many years ago in the South End because it intruded on the sleeping hours – particularly in the summer when windows were open.

Another solution was to push back the time that trash could be taken out from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. – further encouraging people to put their trash out in the morning and not the night before.

A major concern is the trash scavengers that often tear open bags and leave trash strewn everywhere – creating a smorgasbord of pickings for the rat population to feast on .

Mayoral Liaison Faisa Sharif said there isn’t much that can be done about the pickers, but she said there has been an uptick in those activities. City officials are looking into it and she said it is something that needs better coordination between departments.

•The Community Music School of Boston (CMSB) President Lecolion Washington appeared at the April 9 meeting to discuss this summer’s Fete de la Musique program.

That program will take place on June 22 and will appear in five different parks this year, a reduction in the numbers of parks from last year.

“We are looking at using five different parks this year for live music,” he said. “This year, we want to try to incorporate more relationships with the neighborhood. We had 2,500 people come last year. I think people didn’t know the CMSB was producing this event in the South End. We’re going to be more deliberate and open about that work.”

He said they are looking to partner with neighborhood organizations and businesses for this year’s Fete.

•Finally, the Association voted unanimously to write a letter of support for a variance at 27-29 Dwight St. that would allow developer Ghita Akkar to build a back deck on the townhouses.

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