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YOUR TURN: How Should Malden Handle Trash?

Your comments about "Pay As You Throw" got us thinking - what's your best out-of-the-box idea for making Malden trash collection better?

Last week's article about got us thinking – in a perfect world, how would you throw out your trash in Malden?

Would you keep the general system, but improve the quality of blue bags? Lower their cost?Offer residents large, single barrels? Privatize the collection of trash?

Residents in Revere have a program in which residents are offered rewards for the amount of property recycled per household – could something similar be offered in Malden?

Share your ideas with other residents in our comments below. 

AnnieOMalden March 20, 2012 at 04:10 AM
I don't believe the majority of renters pay for their trash. Those apts. with 6 or more units require a dumpster. No blue bag sales there. Our Mayor lives in a condo and has never had to worry about his trash disposal. He appears to be the type who would recycle but I don't believe many apartment buildings offer the option to recycle and just want everything to go into the dumpster. My question is: what happened to the Gary Christenson who signed the petition I had for the question to go on the ballot by the MTFA? That ballot question brought out as many people who came out for this last Mayoral election. The message was loud and clear the citizens did not want this tax. Something happened to him on the way to the Mayor's Office. I agree we need incentive to recycle more to cut down on the tonnage we pay for. How is it we can put out a couch or mattress or 30 bags of yard waste for free but cannot have a regular size trash barrel for free? It really isn't about the tonnage if we are allowed couches etc. The city doesn't make any money on the recyclables, RJM makes the money there in return for the their low charge to us for the tonnage we do dispose of. Makes you think, huh? Why hasn't our Mayor spoken to the MTFA for their input if he is to make any change other than to eliminate the blue bag??
DannyBoy March 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Annie, there's a live chat with Mayor Christenson at 7PM on this site, and you should bring this topic up with him directly. Let's see what he has to say.
AnnieOMalden March 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM
If I am home tonight I'll be glad to do so. In the past (since his election) he has been asked about PAYT and now talks about smaller bags in smaller quantities! That doesn't sound like someone who is on the "eliminate the blue bag tax" bandwagon anymore!
fc March 20, 2012 at 06:09 PM
dumpsters have nothing to do with malden trash pickup or malden taxes.
DannyBoy March 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
fc, if that's the case, then those renters in the 6 or more units apartment building don't contribute their share to the city's trash pickup service or taxes (property, blue bags, etc.). Does that sound fair to you?
Diana March 20, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Of course it's fair. The city isn't picking up that trash. Do you think that they should have to buy blue bags to stuff into the dumpsters that they pay for which will be picked up by a private company that they also pay for?
paul surette March 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Fc, please stop whining about what the renters who live in apartment buildings have to pay for. Of course they are paying as the money the landlord has to dish out to private dumpster companies is taken from their monthly rent. Tell me you're not that naive, please.
paul surette March 20, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Chris, I think it's about time we picked a new topic here...this one is getting old. Fact people: the city signed a long term contract with JRM. The blue bags have NOTHING to do with JRM's contractual obligations. All JRM is responsible for is picking up the trash on a scheduled basis. If the city of Malden wants to attempt to 'renegotiate' the current contract, then fine. But JRM is under no obligation to change the current terms as they are. JRM has deeper pockets than the city of Malden, and they aren't full of trash either. I say, let's eliminate Mr. Knox's position of being the solid waste inspector (like we really need that in the first place) make property owners responsible for solid waste like drywall, appliances, etc, that DOESN'T belong in the trash to begin with!. Then when the property owners don't comply, fine the hell out of them...guaranteed they will start conforming when you hit them where it hurts...in the wallet! Now, let's move on people, to something more important, like, where am I going to be able to get an organic chocolate chip muffin in Malden? :)
Bobby James March 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Yard waste goes in the compost heap.
robert wilson March 20, 2012 at 07:56 PM
From all the posts here it seems we're stuck with the bags for some time to come, the alternatives aren't any better.
fc March 20, 2012 at 09:52 PM
eh? Yes, people who put their trash in dumpsters do not cost the city and malden taxes are not paying for their trash pickup. I do not think you understand what you read.
Marc Levine March 21, 2012 at 01:32 AM
mmmmmm.....organic chocolate chip muffins sound good. but a cranberry orange sounds better. washed down with nice hot cup of hazelnut coffee. ah the local flavor. the hell with the whole trash issue. count your blessings hopefully you are all well. 8)
AnnieOMalden March 21, 2012 at 02:58 AM
You fellas may not want to discuss the trash tax but those of us who number over 10,000 are still steamed over the system we had rammed down our throats. Maybe you are not in charge of deciding which bucket to toss every bit of trash you come across every day. Someone else does that for you. Maybe you're not having to decide over trash bags or cereal, bread and milk. Or tickets to a movie. Or some other $20 purchase which seems less wasteful than flimsy bags to get rid of non-recyclables. Marc and Paul: I suggest you should have a bran muffin instead.
Marc Levine March 21, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Annie.....we have not been on the same page on many issues but, here we stand together arm and arm 10,000 strong. I dislike having to buy the bags too. A better system MUST be developed. What the better system is, I just know. I'm glad it's not my job to figure out a replacement for the current system. If I had it in me (and the time) I would attend council meetings and when the open the floor to public comment I would nicely step up and just ask, "How are we making out with a better system for trash and recycling in the city" Short and sweet. I do believe the current mayor is trying to (as I say often) "build a better mouse trap" that will be fair to the residents yet affordable to the city. Hope you are well Annie. 8)
Bobby James March 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM
"Maybe you are not in charge of deciding which bucket to toss every bit of trash you come across every day." Really? It's that tough to recycle? Cry me a river. I hate the flimsy trash bags as much as everybody else, but having to decide which bucket my trash goes into doesn't even take a simple thought.
AnnieOMalden March 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Marc: I am well, thank you. I made the time and put in the effort for many years to sit in council and committee meetings and cannot believe we have not progressed to a point where the voice of the people is listened to and acted upon. You made me laugh out loud when you mention opening the floor to public comment! Clearly you don't know how this council works-you are not allowed to speak a word and would be tossed out if you were to "nicely step up and just ask, "How are we making out with a better system for trash and recycling in the city" short and sweet" LOL The current Mayor signed my petition to eliminate the bags and is doing the old flip-flop! He hasn't had the MTFA involved yet which makes me wonder why the group hasn't been at the table from the beginning if he is serious about listening to the voice of the people and building a "better mouse trap"? Bobby: Maybe your home is spacious enough to have 3 bins next to each other scattered around to make your trash tossing easier and nothing to think about. I have to run around to different spots depending upon whether it is a tissue or a plastic whatever. Great exercise but very annoying! I am not giving this city one extra dime as they mismanage the money they are given already.
DannyBoy March 21, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Annie, speaking of the city mismanaging taxpayer money, I have not heard anything in the news about how they plan on recovering all the money that was lost through multiple instances of fraud and theft in the Treasury office over the years.
AnnieOMalden March 21, 2012 at 11:05 PM
DannyBoy: Don't forget about the $500,000 a year for 3 years which we lost out on a grant for the MPD when Chief Coye was in charge-due to our having less crime (!) than the surrounding cities who all got that money. Where did we get the money from to make up the difference? Smoke and mirrors...
Anita June 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I totally agree. I see Medford's systems as the best solution. If all your trash does not fit in the barrel, then the blue bags come into play. and yes, "show me the money." Where is the the money going? More crime prevention? Keeping the city clean?
david mokal June 10, 2012 at 11:43 PM
This is been going on for quite a long time and nothing yet has been put on the table. I would like to know why hasn't the trash has not been put out for the lowest bid. Everett has got the Best system going 3 yrs now everyone is happy with it and the streets are much cleaner. I live on the Everett Line and see Capitol Trucks doing a wonderful job. Ive been working in the trash bus for 35 years and our trucks were clean and once we were in a city we were in and out quickly. Check out Everett and Capitol and I still would like to know why the same company is still here with there old ways.
david mokal June 10, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Paul it doesn't cost anything to get a new vendor as a matter of fact the low bidder gets it. BFI is downhill Waste Management and Capitol are awesome. Worked Trash 30 yrs and I know the system. The trash company has there own truck that polices pickup not a city employee. Then they send a chaser truck to pick up any misses. Paul check out how clean Everett does there trash ans Waste management in Medford. Also there trucks are clean not ratty. When a company bids they want the contract no courts just bids are involved. Great Post Paul..
david mokal June 10, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Roseann I purchased 6 bins extra just so I can take them down 15 steps a lil at a time. Im Old..I ended up going to Ace Hardware and buying 30 gallon trash buckets and got the stickers at the city yard. Ive gone down my steps in the winter at least 6 times riding my bin all the way. But all my 6 bins were destroyed by the workers so the barrells work out better. The streets are pityfull trash all over. We need the New System like Everett has.
paul surette June 11, 2012 at 01:35 AM
To David Mokal, Do I need to post the definition of a 'binding' contract? Seriously?
david mokal June 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM
No Paul I understand but there is a time when the contract is over. There was never a bid out there when their contract was over. Before JRM there was Laidlaw and the owner of JRM who Ran Laidlaw was here then. So was Howard. All the trash companies are going the new way big barrells and I may add paper and plastics can be put in the same bin.But Paul if a company can be tossed by not living up to the contract. Such as leaving a mess behind..Trucks that are in deplorable conditions and smell. Ive seen it happen Paul. Your are right when when there is a sweetheart deal. So Paul POst anything you like it's America remember? SERIOUSLY !
david mokal June 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Well Done with this Topic Its getting to be a P'ing contest. Hell with the trash too old to care. Maybe when we are Knee deep in rubbish and loaded with Rats someone may wakey wakey. Gonna have me a Cup of Italian Roast coffee and a bran muffin. This is like battle of the brain waves haaaaaaaaaa! Too many people are looking down a toilet paper roll and dont get the BIG PICTURE
vm July 12, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I just moved from Medford to Malden - I loved the large barrels! They were easy to use and kept the animals out. I agree with Maykay - whatever doesn't fit, overflow into the blue bags. I don't know how Arlington does it - their streets look like a mess on trash day, but yet they don't have trash flying around the neighborhood like we have here.
C DiSalvatore September 03, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Medford's method of trash disposal is a good one, but Everett has a pretty good one, too. Each household is given a large recycling receptacle with some kind of device that allows scanning. The recycling collectors scan the trash barrel and the residents are given some kind of credit on their homeowner's tax. The Everett way may ultimately cost Malden residents more in the long run, but I think these cities that are closest to us have methods that we should examine more closely. The blue bags are a nuisance (cheaply made, costly) and frankly, are just another tax. On my street there have been times when people drop off their trash on the street, not in a blue bag, and it is ignored by trash collectors. Thus, resulting in one of us picking it up and adding it to our trash. Blue bags have been stolen over night, again leaving trash on the street. The trash collectors themselves are an additional problem. Each week there is some random reason my trash isn't collected. Last week, I left recyclables in a barrel (the co-mingled label fell off) without a cover right next to my open receptacles. The trash collectors then ignored the open barrel. The nice woman at Public Works informed that they won't look inside an open barrel because it didn't have the sticker! Is this ridiculous to anyone else!?
C DiSalvatore September 03, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Amen! I experience this very thing each week. We have a family on the street that doesn't speak English, puts out various trash items, none of which is in a blue bag, and then it sits there on the sidewalk for days and days. They aren't a new family, but apparently they don't see all the blue bags and recycle bins that on the street each week and continue to have their heads in the sand. Last week, their trash consisted on several Stop and Shop bags stuffed with rotting food, simply tied and left on the sidewalk with 6 or 7 shoes! Not making this up! When I came home from work, the trash had been picked up, but their shoes and rotten food was still there! Stayed there for 3 or 4 days! Lovely!
C DiSalvatore September 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM
David, your comment about the trash receptacles being destroyed by the trash collectors is a valid one! They literally throw the bins to the sidewalk from the street. It's a wonder the bins last as long as they do. The flinging and throwing of my property has to stop!
Anita September 03, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Hi, I'm not a home owner in Malden, but I am a resident of Malden. I am beyond disgusted with the way Malden handles disposing of trash. There are people who insist on not putting the trash in those blue bags or a lack of understanding, Whatever it is, something needs to be done whether we follow Medford or Everett The ineffective blue bags are not working for the residents (not sure about the government) and I am all for joining a committee to find a solution to eliminate all the trash and garbage in Malden.

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