Citizen complaint of the day: People from other neighborhoods are sneaking their recyclables into Beacon Hill on Sunday night

A concerned citizen reports a nefarious practice:

People from outside neighborhood are bringing rubbish and paper products on Sunday for Monday pick up.

Neighborhoods: 

Free tagging: 

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Comments

Success and Salutations

Nice job Refuse Team Six. You lived up to you motto - Saving The Earth, Silently and Swiftly.

You entered, took care of business and left disturbing only one hater of Mother Earth. Hooah!

Some Little Kid will grow up in this great land of ours with more recycled rather than newly refined petro-carbons in their juice box because of your actions.

You have done a great service to this land despite what the godless of the Flat of The Hill say.

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There is a precedent

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After all, every neighborhood in the state sends its rubbish to Beacon Hill to 'represent' them.

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dare I ask...

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... how they knew the Mystery Recycler was not a Beacon Hillbilly?

And, must rubbish to be recycled be returned to the source neighborhood? Do I need to take all these takeout containers tp Mama's in Mission Hill?

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For the love of ...

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Unless they are actually making a mess or are a commercial firm who should be paying for their own garbage removal (the complaint says no), there is nothing wrong with this. If you miss your own street's pickup or will be out of town, why not bring it to another street in time for theirs?

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The rules are hard to find

The City of Boston makes it notoriously difficult to actually look up the rules, which of course gets in the way of compliance, but I believe the law is that the trash needs to be put out in front of your own property, on the street corresponding to your property address. (If you own property on the corner of State and Main, and your building has a Main street address, you put out your trash on the Main street side.)

Where this becomes an issue is where the sidewalks are narrow. Nobody wants to have to wade through someone else's garbage to get in and out of their own front door. And, of course, there are rat problems. If you have someone who has been working hard to control the rat problem by putting his trash out, properly bagged, just before pickup, it's kind of unfair for someone else from down the block to dump a load of garbage 24 inches from his kitchen window 18 hours before pickup.

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Hence the caveat

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If someone is making a mess, or putting it out early, then that should be in the complaint and it doesn't matter where the perpetrator is from.

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'Zactly

It is irrelevant where the perp is from.. doesn't mater if he's from down the block or from another neighborhood.

And you'll notice that in the complaint, the perp was putting it out early. Pickup is Monday, which means trash must be put out no earlier than midnight Sunday night, and complaint was made Sunday.

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Incorrect

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From the City of Boston website on curbside trash pickup:

Set trash out neatly at the curb by 7am on your trash day(s) or after 5pm the night before. Remember to separate trash from recycling on the curb.

You would be hard pressed to find anyone in my neighborhood that hasn't set their trash out by dinner time.

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"City of Boston Website" vs the law

There is a difference between what the City of Boston website says and what the law says. The law requires that the trash be put out no earlier than midnight on the day of pickup. 105 CMR 410.600(A). There has been some effort by the downtown neighborhoods to get the city to enforce the law, but to date there has not been a lot of success.

Yeah, I cite this law every time this issue comes up, because I don't like rats, and it bugs me that the city has chosen to not enforce a law that helps keep rats at bay.

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Eh

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The law just says "On the day of collection" and then under 410.840 essentially says that the board of health can vary the provisions stated in most of CMR 410 "when, in its opinion, the enforcement thereof would do manifest injustice".

It then appears that the Commissioner of Public Works gets the say in the city of Boston, according to City Ordinance Article 25, Section 5 .

Additionally, ISD does state that early placement of trash (before 5pm) and improper storage of trash (in the appropriate garbage bag and container with tight-fitting lid) are enforceable codes with fines. And I have noticed in the couple of times I've reported loose trash on sidewalks to Citizens Connect, the city is usually pretty quick to respond.

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Good cite.

It's unclear that the "manifest Injustice" standard has been met.

Also, there's no documentation as to the regulations established by the Commissioner of Public Works.

Hilariously, City Ordinance 25, Section 1, in addition to making it illegal to carry your trash onto the next block and throw it into the back of the truck if you miss pickup by 5 minutes, also makes it technically illegal to carry your trash from your front door to the curb.

I swear, a first year law student at a mediocre law school could do a better job drafting this law than whoever did it.

Edit: It's section 1

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I swear, a first year law

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I swear, a first year law student at a mediocre law school could do a better job drafting this law than whoever did it.

Sometimes the way laws are written are to then give those people jobs when the litigation starts.

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?

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At both of the recent places I've lived (South Boston, West Roxbury) my trash has been picked up fairly consistently at 7:30-8am. I'm going to guess that collection starts at 7am and the city is issuing a blanket statement that will apply to all residents, and if you know that you are last on the collection circuit, at least you know you have that extra time in the morning to put out the trash.

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In that case....

In that case, reasonable wording would be: "Trash may be put out for collection at any time after XX o'clock up until the time of collection. Time of collection varies by day and by neighborhood, but it will be no earlier than 7:00 AM."

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Somebody's gotta keep the

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Somebody's gotta keep the white trash out of the neighborhood.

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Wha?

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How, exactly, do they know that they are coming from "outside the area"? Why would they bother? Maybe they are simply *gasp* college students who don't drop their bags out the window!

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ATTN: Beacon Hill Whiner

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At least they aren't dumping used diapers on sidewalks and streets like they do in other neighborhoods. Now crawl back into your bottle of chardonnay.

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ZING!

"Chardonnay"? I guess you sure told them.

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lol

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...crawl back into your bottle of chardonnay? Sounds like the perfect antidote for a Monday!

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Poorly worded, but....

.... isn't "burned out streetlight," "pothole needs filling," and "trash out illegally" exactly the sort of service request that Citizens' Connect is designed to handle?

ISD has inspectors out; you see illegal trash; you report it via Citizens' Connect; the address gets added to the inspector's queue; the inspector stops by, finds something in the trash with an address on it, snaps a photo, writes a citation, and moves on....

The excess verbiage about "people from outside the neighborhood" is silly and unnecessary. If you want to report improperly disposed trash, just snap a photo, enter your address, check "improperly disposed trash," and "submit".

You don't need to write an essay.

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Why?

Would anyone bother to do this?

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Simple enough

Say you live in an area where pickup is Tuesday and not Monday, and you had a party over the weekend on your roof deck and nowhere to store the trash and recycling that party generated.

So, on your way to the train Monday Morning, you grab the bags that are currently filling your tiny kitchen and drop them in an area where the trucks will be coming through in short order.

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Suburban perspective

That reflects the suburban perspective.

There are plenty of city neighborhoods with somewhere around 3 square feet of sidewalk per resident. Consider a 6 unit building that is 20 feet wide. The sidewalk is 3 feet from curb to building face. (60 square feet of sidewalk). There are 3 people living in each unit. That's 18 people using 60 square feet of sidewalk. On recycling day, there just isn't room for anyone who doesn't live in that building to dispose of their trash in front of it.

Yeah, if you drop it off minutes before the truck arrives to pick it up, you haven't bothered anyone. But it's kind of hard to write a law that says "It's OK if you do it just before the truck arrives, but not otherwise."

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Very urban, actually

Don't worry - I don't drop trash in the city. Even the suburban areas of Boston itself have those cans.

I'm merely pointing out what does happen in the city. It isn't so hard to understand that people from the North or West End may carry a bag over to Beacon Hill if it saves a day of storage, and likewise for folks from Beacon Hill returning the favor. I have seen urban people doing this in both directions, and knew people living in Beacon Hill who would walk a block or two and drop it.

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Reverse in Hyde Park

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This makes me laugh! Where I live in Hyde Park the rich people from Milton sneak across the border and put their trash and recycles on our sidewalk, so they can get some free trash removal!

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Tickets for my neighbor's trash.

5-6 years ago, before the current system of just snapping a photo of the offending trash, my building got a few citations for trash from the neighbors. I know this because we are a small building and I could monitor the trash. Only happend 2-3 times over about a 2 year period. You have to appear personally to challenge the $25 citation.

Mind you since then we have had a few my building who are more than willing to violate the rules and have also been cited. Including fines that had to be paid by all owners because there was no mail in trash to identify which unit. Just sucks to get a fine for the next door neighbor.

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The good news...

... from personal experience; you don't always need to go in in person any more to contest these tickets, if you have evidence you can provide.

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Sorry, I don't buy that

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Sorry, I don't buy that argument.

People generate different amounts of trash and recycling. Some might generate 5 times as much as others. So there's no way every square inch of sidewalk trash bag space could be exactly allocated to the people who live on that block, with one extra bag from someone on the next block breaking the camel's back.

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Suit yourself....

but plenty of people will call it in if you put your trash in front of their property, and the city will come and issue you a ticket.

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Don't throw your junk in my backyard, my backyard's full

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On several occasions I've brought my trash to a zone with another pickup day when I missed trash day. What difference does it make?

How would the city know who I am? I don't throw out my bank statements in the regular trash.

I don't mind if people add to *my* trash, as long as they don't make a mess.

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