Survey Suggests Residents Would Consider Change in Trash and Recycling Collection Days, With Conditions

A recent survey administered by the Beacon Hill Civic Association suggests that the majority of neighborhood residents polled would be willing to accept a  change in pickup days, which the  city is now considering, if it would mean a later pickup time on those days as well.

Of 79 respondents, 48 of them, or 60.2 percent, were in favor of changing the trash/recycling pickup days from the current Monday and Friday morning to Monday and Thursday mornings, with the city committing to a morning pickup time  of no later than 6 a.m.; 20 respondents, or about 25.3 percent, were in favor of changing the trash/recycling pickup days from the current Monday and Friday morning to Monday and Thursday mornings, without any commitment from the city on the morning pickup time; and 11 respondents, or nearly 14 percent, were in favor of keeping the current trash/recycling pickup times of Mondays and Fridays at 6 a.m.

Rob Whitney, chair of the Civic Association board of directors, said the group administered the study, which lasted for one week, after the city reached out to them on July 20 to ask if the neighborhood would be interested in moving one of the neighborhood’s two trash and recyclables pickup days from Friday to Thursday.

(On July 1, 2019, the city changed its trash pickup times from 7 a.m. to one hour earlier at 6 a.m., which was reportedly among the terms of the five-year, $28 million contract that was then awarded to East Boston-based Capitol Waste Services to handle waste and recyclable collection citywide.)

“The vast majority of [respondents] were in favor of [the proposed change in day], but the vast majority of them want the time change as well,” said Whitney of the survey results. “We’d love to work with the city to find some way to move the pickup time later than the current 6 a.m., which would allow people to put it out on the day of [pickup] and not the day before.”

Added Whitney, “If that requires moving the pickup date from Friday to Thursday, it appears residents would support the day change if the city would also change the pickup time to later in the morning.”

The Civic Association supports the later pickup time, said Whitney, which it believes would “reduce rodents, increase cleanliness on Beacon Hill, and make it a better neighborhood.”

Moreover, the Civic Association for years has been encouraging residents to leave their trash out in the morning, as opposed to on the night before, because of rodents and garbage blowing in the street, among other issues.

“Most people put out their trash the night before when the pickup time is at 6 a.m., but when it was at 7 a.m., the Civic Association worked long and hard to get people to do it the morning of, and we had a lot of luck with compliance,” said Whitney.

Whitney is now optimistic that the Civic Association can work with the city and neighbors to settle on trash and recycling pickup times that are mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

“We’re anxious to work with the new administration to see if we can affect change in pickup time to benefit the community,” he said.

The city, meanwhile, is currently evaluating the results of the Civic Association’s survey to assess how potential changes to their curbside collection schedule would affect the overall citywide operational plan.

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