O’Malley seeks better trash cans, less litter

City Councilor Matt O’Malley filed an order to reduce litter and promote recycling late last month.

O’Malley said he believes that the City needs to expand its use of public trash compactors and recycling bins, explore the use of cutting-edge receptacles, and re-evaluate litter fines.

“I’ve been working with the City for a better schedule, predictive service, plus better technology,” he told the Gazette last week. “We’ve got to expand City initiatives [like Boston Shines] to year-round. We’ve got to figure out ways to pay for it,” he said.

He noted that Roslindale manages the a year-round cleanup program through its Main Streets organization.

“There is no excuse for littering, but it is a problem that continues to plague our city’s business districts and neighborhoods,” O’Malley said in a press release.

O’Malley said he began to explore the idea after a group of residents in Jamaica Plain, including Sarah Freeman and Michael Reiskind and JP’s Centre/South Main Streets, asked for his help addressing a litter problem in the neighborhood business districts.

The Gazette reported about the trash issue in JP last spring, which resulted in the installation of several new solar-powered, compacting, lidded BigBelly containers and many upgraded trash cans in the Centre/South corridor.

The Gazette took a survey of trash cans in the Centre’South corridor last March. It found 51 public trash cans in the two-mile stretch, but only six were solar-powered, compacting, lidded “BigBelly” cans. A follow-up story revealed that then-Mayor Thomas Menino had promised JP 25 BigBelly cans in 2010 which had yet to be delivered. Since then, a number of Big Belly cans have been installed around Hyde/Jackson squares.

Every member of the City Council signed on as a co-sponsor of O’Malley’s order.

O’Malley said he would like to see increased use of the BigBelly Solar trash compacting litter/recycling bins citywide. Currently, Boston has more than 550 of the receptacles which, according to the Department of Public Works, prevent trash from blowing into the streets, discourage the dumping of household trash, and save the city money because the bins can be emptied with fewer trips.

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