Trash with a Capital T & That Rhymes with G & That Stands for Garbage!

Posted on August 19, 2012


English: A green Waste Management rolloff rubb...

English: A green Waste Management rolloff rubbish container in a parking lot in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yessir, trouble right here in Ocean City. Trash trouble. What will the good citizens of Lynn do to keep this ball of trash rolling? Demand more from their city government? You bet!

Only we want this ball to get smaller.

There’s a special meeting of the Ordinance Committee on Tuesday, August 21 at 6:30 PM in room 402 of City Hall. The agenda simply states “Discussion re: Trash Issue/Ordinance in the City of Lynn.” Will you be there?

This meeting is a follow-up to last Tuesday’s meeting where representatives of the trash collection company Waste Management presented a scenario for automated waste management that city councilors Darren Cyr, William Trahan, Brendan Crighton and Peter Capano listened to intently. Director of Inspectional services Michael Donovan and DPW head Manny Alcantara had nothing but good things to say about Waste Management’s automated trash pickup in other cities.

MDayMorningQB does a pretty good job researching and critiquing this proposal in his comments on the ItemLive’s Lynn Businesses Laud Trash Law Proposal. Basically MMQB says that the city of Lynn may not be the best place for automated trash pickup to work. Since the driver of the collection truck is maneuvering a “remote control articulated arm” to pick up and empty the trash barrel on the curb, this method requires adequate off-street parking, level terrain and clearance from utility wires. Perfect for suburban areas, not so good for more congested cities. This might work for Medford, but Lynn?

Then again, the reps from Waste Management made it clear that no two cities are alike, so the solution they propose for Lynn will probably not be the same one they proposed for Medford.

So I don’t want to see the city put all its eggs in one basket. Automated trash pickup is  probably not the stand-alone silver bullet answer to our problem.

But maybe some variant of it could be part of the answer.

Broadly speaking, I think the answer will be a mixture of higher, clearer expectations, enforcement of those expectations and education about them. A new ordinance will just be one way of making those expectations explicit. Let’s face it: ordinances are a dime a dozen around here.

Furthermore, we must make it easy for people to comply with any new ordinance, but we also need education, the power of example and clean streets. Yes, the streets must be clean, the broken windows fixed, everyone working together, doing their part, playing his or her role.

So what do you think? What suggestions do you have for our City Council? The Mayor? Other residents? Businesses? Will you be at this Tuesday’s Ordinance meeting? I can’t wait to read the draft of the amended ordinance written by Ron Mendes, Leslie Gould and the Mayor. Representatives from Waste Management have also been invited.

Posted in: Litter