Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My morning walk - Aug 25

I went for a morning walk today in my neighbourhood. What the heck, I used to be able to do this sort of thing when I lived outside of the North End, so why not go for a walk here.
I went for a walk down my back lane, then went a block further and came back home down the back lane on the other side of the street. Of course I took my camera with me. And of course I found mattresses and couches in and around the dumpsters in these back lanes.
I wonder how long they have been there? I wonder if the residents of those lanes even put them there.
Where do all of these mattresses and couches come from? And how often are they picked up.
How many more mattresses and couches are there in the back lanes of the North End?
If there are this many just in the two blocks surrounding my house, you would think the city would take a more pro-active approach to cleaning them up. You would think they would want to clean up the streets and alleys of the city.
The people who are paid to pick up the garbage in the city must be aware of how many mattresses and couches are sitting in the back lanes. Wouldn't it bother them to drive by and leave these items week after week?
Now strictly from a financial point of view, we already pay the garbage people to drive their trucks down the back lanes. This is coming out of our city taxes. In order to get these couches and mattresses picked up, someone has to take time out of their day to contact 311 ( or call 311) and report the materials. In the North End we are not charged for the pickup, we can have the large items hauled away for free. But it is not really free, it comes out of our taxes. So each one of these dumpsters requires someone to contact 311, and a city employee has to create a "ticket" to have the items picked up. Then a special dump truck has to come and pick up the items in the ticket. And they only pick up the items in the ticket. I know, because they showed up to pick up a mattress I called in. I had another mattress at a different house and asked if they could pick it up as well. I was told they were only here for what was on their ticket. I would have to create another ticket to have the other mattress picked up. Again, this is our tax dollars. Each item, or group of items is a different ticket. Each item or group of items requires a new truck to drive to the location and pick up the specific items on their ticket. Is this making sense? Is it going to take five garbage trucks and five different trips to pick up the items I just showed you, after we have already paid for the original garbage truck to pick up our garbage? This is not making financial sense to me.
And this does not include the cost of fire trucks or any fire damage caused by these items remaining in the back lanes for days and weeks and sometimes months before getting picked up. On my block alone I have seen these items set on fire because they have been sitting for so long.
There has got to be a better system than the one we have. There has got to be a better and cheaper way of dealing with the large items that congregate around the dumpsters in the North End.
This is not just a problem for and about the North End. I know for a fact that these large items are not all originating from the North End. People from other parts of the city are using the North End as a free dumping ground for their unwanted items. The next time you dump a fridge, stove, mattress, couch, 60" large screen tv, etc in or around a dumpster in the North End, think about the amount of tax money you just used up in scheduling and bringing out a special truck, or calling a fire truck to put out the fire. Think about the amount of tax money you have spent the next time you pay your taxes.
The more garbage that is dumped in the North End from other parts of the city, the worst our neighbourhood looks. And as I am sure you know, the worse the neighbourhood looks, the less the people of the neighbourhood care about their neighbourhood or take pride in their neighbourhood. It's the "broken window theory". If the garbage remains, more garbage will appear, and it will just keep getting worse and worse.
In the long run, it is cheaper to drive your garbage to the Brady Landfill site, where it is supposed to go, than it is to drive it to the North End and leave it in someones back yard.
Be tax wise.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely suburbanites use inner city dumpsters, we catch them we even turn them in if we get their licence plates numbers. These are the people who sneer at north enders, but are too cheap to pay the dumping fee at the Brady landfill.