Collapsible Trash Bins a Hit During Pilot Program

Neighbors on East Brookline Street logged very positive reviews of the collapsible trash bin pilot that has been ongoing since Aug. 6.

In a presentation at the South End Forum on Tuesday, Dan Revello of East Brookline Street reported that they had 23 volunteers to use the bins in 16 buildings. That has given the neighborhood and the City a great sample to find out if the bins are working well.

“In the responses we got from users, 78 percent said it’s useful and 78 percent said it has helped to prevent loose trash,” said Revello. “It is doing what we hoped it would do.”

The bins are the brainchild of Forum Moderator Steve Fox and Eight Streets Neighborhood Association President Michael Almond.

A constant problem in the downtown neighborhoods is that residents don’t have a place to store large trash barrels, which has resulted in bags being on the streets. That ends up being a trash-pickers heyday, closely followed up by an open air buffet for rats and mice – and squirrels on occasion. In an effort to curb the loose trash and critter problem in the South End, Fox and Almond introduced the idea of collapsible bins and East Brookline Street quickly asked to be the test subjects.

Some of the early responses include:

•86 percent said it was easy to use.

•64 percent said it was easy to collapse.

•50 percent reported storing it under their main staircase.

•28 percent reported lining it with a trash bag.

•35 percent said other neighbors used the bin.

•100 percent reported it has helped curb rodents.

Revello said one comment indicated that the bin didn’t help prevent trash-pickers from opening bags, but it helped by confining the open bags to the bin and so trash was not spread all over the streets.

Another said there was a challenge because there was no top on the bin, and they found that people tended to put dog waste bags into their bin on trash day.

Chief of Streets Chris Osgood said the pilot would continue until Oct. 1, and they would gather more information from the trash contractors and the City’s Public Works Department.

“You guys came to us with an idea and it aligned with something the mayor deeply cares about – keeping the streets clean and safe,” he said.

Fox said one user comment summed it all up for him. “One person said that they liked it so much that if the pilot ended and they didn’t go with the bins, this person wanted to keep theirs,” he said. “I think that says a lot.”

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