Trash Talk

Posted on August 1, 2012


This morning at 56 Essex Street.

Every Wednesday morning for the past few weeks, on the way to the train station and in the aftermath of what the Item has dubbed the ticketing blitz, I’ve been taking pictures of the trash left out for collection. For the past two weeks, it looked like this:

Two weeks ago

Last week.

I posted last week’s picture on the Lynnside Edition Facebook page and Assistant to the Mayor Mary Chambers was kind enough to notice and offered to send Inspectional Services. By the way, it’s hard to tell exactly whose trash this is. There’s a Chinese Food restaurant next to 56 Essex, and I’d hazard a guess it’s theirs.

All of this is making me wonder. What good did all those tickets do?

I just heard from a reliable source that 56 Essex St. is a place that Centerboard–formerly SPIN–uses to house homeless clients. Now I don’t know if this is true. Someone please correct me if it’s not. But does it seem at all funny that the same organization employing Clean Teams to pick up trash in various neighborhoods of Lynn doesn’t know how some of its very own clients and agents are contributing to the problem?

[8/3/2012–My source was not reliable in this instance. I apologize to Centerboard and the people who work there for impugning their good name without checking with them first. I will post a full retraction soon.]

But to get back to the ticketing blitz. Did it compel the owner of this property to provide barrels to his tenants? Did it compel the tenants to buy or use those barrels? Again, my guess is no. It’s not the tenant’s responsibility to pay the ticket and maybe it’s just the cost of owning a three decker in Lynn for the owner. After all, the city doesn’t ticket repeat offenders every week.

What does this say about the effectiveness of fining as a method of controlling people’s waste-handling practices? Or is this an indictment of only using the blunt force of this one method. Perhaps fining would work better in conjunction with education and other methods.

Please don’t get me wrong. Centerboard is a great organization doing great things in Lynn right now and I have no problem with the alleged homeless transition housing across the street from me.

Please, someone–tell me I’m wrong.

Posted in: Litter