Trash talk from an East Boston kindergartener

East Boston needs trash cans

Tina Kelly reports that kindergarteners at one East Boston school were asked to draw "what you want Boston to have more of." And one girl drew "Not playgrounds, trash cans." So, yeah, maybe East Boston has a trash problem.



    Free tagging: 


      Out of the mouths of babes...

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      I live in East Boston and that child is correct. On trash day, if you walk down Bennington Street from Central Square to Day Square, plastic trash bags are just carelessly tossed on the sidewalks. The contents of some are spilling out. This makes it very easy for rats and other vermin. Are trash barrels really so expensive? Invest in a few. People there seem to have no pride in their surroundings.

      Plastic is okay

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      The problem isn't the plastic trash bags by themselves, it's the people who don't secure them properly or put them out on the wrong day so they sit around.

      A trash barrel sounds like a fine idea if you have a place to keep it. I live on the third floor of a triple-decker with no access to the back yard. Exactly where am I supposed to keep a trash barrel six days a week? Are you going to carry it up and down the stairs for me?

      gargage in east bosto

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      Is not the peoples who rake the trash well not allbut mayority is the Azians who are serching for cans and plastic bottles to sell they make holes and go tru all farvege not careing if its spills all over the ground they have to stop doibg that snd spanish scrstching tickets snd just tossing them


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      Well over the Chelsea creek in Chelsea, we have the same problem with trash. Its taking over the neighborhood(s). The City Manager often talks about trash in his email bulletins. Trash and Rats are just an on going problem here in Chelsea.

      It's not even so much trash day, its everyday. People just throw trash everywhere. The city recently started putting out the BigBelly Solar trash cans. A few spots have one on each corner, and there's STILL trash on the ground. People just don't care.. at least around here. I wish the city would aggressively ticket litterers. I think after word gets out that the cops are handing out tickets like mad, people will begin to use the trash barrels.

      The other problem are the bottle people that go around on trash night. Many of them just rip the bags open and trash goes everywhere. Then when the garbage guys come around, the bag is already ripped/shredded so when its throw into the truck, it rips and trash goes everywhere (and the trash guys seldom pick it up).

      Its just sad. Street Sweepers can come by in the morning, and by the middle of the afternoon, the trash is back and looks no better than it did before the street sweepers came.

      common dumpsters

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      Would common dumpsters help?


      these guys are wired to call for pickup


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      Common dumpsters would be an amazing solution especially in Boston neighborhoods (North End, Charlestown, East Boston, Beacon Hill) that lack alleys, driveways or other areas for the proper storage of trash barrels. Convert one parking spot (gasp… I know the idea of losing a public piece of property for the storage of a privately owned vehicle for the good of the public is ludicrous) per street/block into a trash/recycling location. No more curbside pickup.

      Citizens Win = Take smelly trash out of the house anytime of week
      City Public Works Win = Quicker/automated pickup with less stops
      Neighborhoods Win = Less trash on the street curbs, and a public place to deposit trash on every street
      Dog Owners Win = Trash barrel on every street to drop off Fido's poop bag
      Rats Loose = No plastic bags on the sidewalk to rip open for food

      Your house

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      Okay we can put them in front of your house, right?

      Will you be responsible for cleaning up the trash that follows these said bags to these dumpster sites? because we know people will not clean up the dragged mess that will follow them. Oh and if a bag rips while carrying it, will you be responsible for following behind and clean up the mess?

      Will you help deal with the explosion of rats that will be near these sites? (Sorry I've seen rats climb in and out of dumpsters, and open lids, so this would not help curb the rat problem)

      Will you not complain during the summer when the smell gets so bad, you are no longer open your windows due to the stench?

      seriously, you know this is exactly what the NIMBYs will say. It's like anything like this, its always a good idea until sometime decides to put next to YOUR house.

      And for the sheer fact that we can't even get people to use trash barrels, and you want people to CARRY bags of heavy trash a block or so away to a dumpster site. HAHAAH you're full of it if you believe this would happen. people are to L A Z Y for this. People would just leave the bags outside until they rot (like they currently do when they are too lazy to bring the trash out for trash day)

      (And please save me the "well this works in Europe" argument, because sometimes what works in Europe does not always mean its the right way and will work here at all)

      Valid points...

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      You do make some valid points which would need to be addressed in the design of the system / process. That would include educating the public with the idea that you don’t have to drag heavy trash bags since you can take smaller amounts of trash out on a more regular basis. If the problem is the “sheer fact” that people currently don’t use household trash barrels, we need to understand why. Is it because they can’t afford the barrels? Is it because they don’t have transportation to go purchase the barrels? Is it because they don’t have a place to store said barrels?

      Yes Cybah, I’m “full of it”…. full of optimism that when something is designed and implemented correctly it can work.

      P.S. Who mentioned Europe?

      You didn't

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      but its clear that these photos are from Europe (the cars are a dead give away), plus I know this is something that is a European thing to do. (it's been discussed here before)

      Correct, EDUCATION is key. But getting it to folks. I live in a very transient community (same with Eastie), lots of people coming and going all the time. Its hard to educate people when someone may only live in the city for a short time.

      I'd LOVE to educate my neighbors. I often want to get with Centro Latino in Chelsea, and create a 'handbook for new residents' that they can give out to new folks who come to town just so they know how to do stuff and what not to do. Because its clear that the new residents don't have a clue (because they aren't from the United States). Nothing good or bad about this, they just do not know.

      But like I said, we can barely get people not to litter, let alone deal with trash properly, I think you're living in a dream world if you think this would be followed. Why? because people in my neighborhood just do not care about their surroundings. I'm also told by a friend of mine who is from Central America that the trash issue is common down there, and people are just used to throw trash where they see fit and not picking it up. They are just replicating what they did at home, which is toss trash everywhere. (don't shoot the messenger, this is what my neighbor who is Guatemalan told me)

      As far as the barrel issue, Chelsea has city bags that you are suppose to use. They are avaliable at any store in town and cost a dollar. You can also use your own barrel if it has a lid and is marked as trash. But enforcement is the issue, some days DPW issues tickets like mad for trash issues (mostly during the summer), and others, they could care less.

      And when I mean trash barrels, I also mean litter barrels, not so much big trash day barrels also. People can't even put an empty soda bottle inside a garbage barrel, and you want folks to sort trash? hah.

      I understand your point about being optimistic. I'm sure if we were talking about Cambridge or Beacon Hill or some other community where people actually gave a crap about their community, this would work. Mine, not so much.

      Interesting observation

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      I'm also told by a friend of mine who is from Central America that the trash issue is common down there, and people are just used to throw trash where they see fit and not picking it up.

      I said the same thing about people in Boston when I first moved her 35 years ago.

      If people in most of the city have gotten a clue since then (and efforts have been made to improve public services - a Menino legacy) then it can be done in Eastie, too.

      Poor kid, I feel her pain. I

      Poor kid, I feel her pain. I've lived in a number of different cities and states and never have I seen people with such flagrant disregard for their surroundings. If I watch you throw your garbage on the ground because you're too lazy to be a decent human being and bother to find a trash can, I WILL pick it up and give it back to you.

      I take it

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      you've never been to San Francisco? It's the only city I've been to where you can play "Count the Human Turds on the Sidewalk," and get well above 5 in an afternoon.

      Year round street sweeping...

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      East Boston will gladly volunteer for the pilot program of year round street cleaning. The start of street sweeping in April should be a celebrated holiday.

      Year round?

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      Ya forget snow plows, we can just sweep away 18in of snow......

      Street cleaning / snow removal...

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      If we continued the every other week cycle of moving cars for street cleaning year round, it would also be helpful in the snow removal / clean up after storms. Yes there will be times in the winter when there is so much snow that it would not make sense, but the snow banks disappeared over two weeks ago from the streets around Maverick Square and there is enough trash is the gutters to fill a truck.

      In related news, this morning

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      In related news, this morning I saw a family spending their Sunday morning picking up trash across the street from the park behind the Fresh Pond Whole Foods complex. The family was using kitchen trash bags and were out there on their own so I have a feeling the kids were getting an impromptu lesson in good citizenship. I honked and gave them a thumbs up. Felt a little guilty that I couldn't hop out and help.

      East Boston needs more

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      East Boston needs more Boston city workers cleaning up the streets!! instead I see them huddled up in the corner of the East Coast variety store in East Boston all day playing keno!!!



      I'm surprised Tina didn't

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      I'm surprised Tina didn't draw that picture herself. For someone who is so adamant about pushing low-income housing (although Eastie has 38% of the city's low-income housing already) you'd think she'd be comfy with the trash problem by now. Maybe if we didn't have 19 people living in one-bedroom units in the city, our trash levels would be lower? Hm, imagine that. Oh but wait, we wouldn't want to bring in the luxury stuff and rent it out to professionals, no. They might actually treat the area with respect.

      Two main problems.. People

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      Two main problems.. People just don't care and the pickers ripping open bags trying to get bottles. I lived on Chelsea Street for 6 years and even after street cleaning it was still a mess. Even after multiple complaints to Sal Lamattina's office, absolutely nothing was done.

      I wish it was "fake", but

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      I wish it was "fake", but sadly it's not. She is stuck with an educator as a mother, hence the handwriting (thanks for the compliment, I will be sure to pass it along to her) I was suprised to see this art work when I went to her open house at school. And she actually does pick up the trash. Her preschool last year even went around on a Saturday picking up trash all over the neighborhood, 3,4 & 5 year olds. Probably can't say the same for the person who posted the "whiney comment.

      7 things to reduce garbage on our streets

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      1) Millions spent in marketing efforts to bring casinos... yet our streets are littered with garbage. Not trying to take a stand "for" or "against" the casino, however some money should be allocated by cities such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Revere to the creation of trash pick up jobs. Its a problem that needs to be fixed--just like pot holes need to be filled, garbage on our streets needs to be picked up.

      2) Cities should demand better performance from trash pick up companies. I am witness to the negligence that takes place when trash is picked up. If something falls off the truck, no effort is made to ensure garbage trails are not left behind. Demand from your residents to report negligent behavior.

      3) Ban plastic bags! Yes, it may annoy shoppers and become an inconvenience but if most people cant be responsible enough to dispose of a plastic bag in a considerate manner that takes into account our environment and our community then we need to be held responsible.

      4) If you have a dog, don't bring a plastic bag with you when taking the pup for a walk--I am sure you will find one on the street. Even though its sad to think its that easy to find a plastic bag while walking your dog, you are helping by repurposing a plastic bag before it ends up in the ocean or somewhere else. What an ugly sight it is to see plastic bags caught on chain link fences or trees on the side of the road.

      5)We are responsible for removing snow from our sidewalks, why not hold residents responsible for doing the same with garbage?

      6)Commercial establishments such as convenience stores, and liquor stores should help as well by ensuring there are ample garbage containers outside their establishments. Also, don't renew their licenses unless they can keep their surrounding areas clean. Next time take a look at the sidewalks when walking by a convenience store or liquor store--its littered with scratch tickets, nips, cigarette boxes, plastic bottles, and snack wrappers.

      7)Educate the public, especially the younger generations of the impact garbage has on the environment, on your neighborhood.

      East Boston's Trash Problem

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      I've lived in East Boston for over ten years. In Eagle Hill. What we need is not different trash collection or maintenance systems -- we need different people. The streets are awash in filth because the people who live here throw it there, both from their cribs and from wherever they are standing. This is not limited to any racial or ethnic group -- I've seen everyone do it. Take a look also at their entryways: Rotting wood, exposed asbestos, crumbling brick and concrete. These people are the bottom of the barrel. It won't get better because nobody except slumlords will buy the crumbling triple-deckers: too expensive to restore.

      Thanks Bill White

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      Agreed. I tried to keep race out of my comments about chelsea because it isn't just the ethnic folks, it's everyone. We, like Eastie, have a lot of slumlords here.

      I still renew my comment about ticketing like mad. Change the fee structure to be 25, 50, 100, and up, and like unpaid parking tickets, attach it to the registry and poof, you wanna see how quickly it stops. OR better yet, start forcing people to pick up trash as punishment (or face jail time). Sucks that it has to be this way but after a few times, people will get the message.

      Why are East Boston's streets

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      Why are East Boston's streets so filthy each day? Hmmm..... Maybe its the population growth in the neighborhood, maybe you have 2 bedroom apartments that are being rented out to families with 6 or 7 people , multiply that by several thousand households, this all means more garbage on the sidewalks for garbage day , add this to the equation no one uses garbage cans!! Garbage contractors are partly to blame also, they seem to be careless when picking up garbage, sometimes leaving garbage behind, is it time for a new garbage contractor for the city!! Alot of people are fed up!! Its all about the $.

      East Boston Trash

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      Yes -- in Eastie, when an apartment in a triple decker is rented, the renter on the lease (if there is a lease) pays the rent and then rents rooms to individuals or entire families. You can tell by the enormous amounts of trash that appear in front of these cribs on trash day -- also by the number of names on the mail boxes, although they've gotten smarter about hiding that. (I don't know why -- nobody from the city is going to bother them.)

      "Se renta un cuarto". Or

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      "Se renta un cuarto". Or something to that effect.

      But don't worry -I'm sure the city's rental inspections will remedy this. /s

      Trash problem

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      That kindergartener's picture is spot on. Chelsea Street is a dump. I asked Sal LaMattina's office for help, no luck with that. No one cares, that's the problem. We moved from Porter over to Chelsea and what a difference. Daily I am picking up trash off my front step. It's ignorance.