GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 4, 2013

Letter: Trash all-too-often spoiling city's appearance


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Wow, it has been wicked windy weather hasn’t it?

Here’s the thing that I’m having trouble with; I’m not feeling sour grapes, just really sad and utterly confused.

There are some folks who for whatever reason are putting out their trash and recycle the night before pickup, only to have it strewn everywhere by the next morning. Even the early risers who get it out can’t avoid it.

Now there are some who may tie it down or secure it but more often than not, most don’t and it’s everywhere on nearly every city street. The containers are essentially useless, as they hold little and are wide open. And people always overfill because they are recycling and don’t use additional containers, so we are left with a mess of huge proportions.

We all see it. We are blessed to live in the oldest seaport in the country but sadly it is a disgraceful mess 80 percent of the time. Our Main Street has filthy trashed curbsides, riddled with cigarettes and gum. Washington Street is just plain nasty and my own neighborhood of Gloucester Avenue is one of the greatest eyesores around.

Since moving to this side of town one year ago, I can’t begin to count the endless yellow bags I’ve filled from just my house down to just the bowling alley. The highway (Route 128) side of Gloucester Avenue technically is owned by the state. All the highway extensions in town are a mess, and rest assured I haven’t seen any state workers come this way to clean.

One November day, I bagged eight overflowing bags from the corner of Maplewood Avenue down the hill across from the bowling alley. From the brush, I pulled out lobster buckets, tires, pots and pans and more I could have bagged more, but within two days, it was if I did nothing. Folks park their cars on the highway side by Maplewood all lined up and the area is disgusting.

A recycling truck worker told me Gloucester Avenue is one of the worst neighborhoods in Gloucester. Sadly, I had to agree. Last week while picking up again, I met up with a Department of Public Works employee coming up the hill. The day before, he had bagged 15 bags from Maplewood down to the bowling alley as well, and was back for more. He told me he chose to do this street on his own because it is so bad.

I know there are neighbors who do care and are concerned who stop to talk when they see me out there. Clearly, most are not caring and what does that say?

Patty Amaral put out a letter recently about the unnecessary use of Styrofoam for which there are many biodegradable alternatives. Styrofoam is cheaper, so most places think of the money and not the environment. The city could find a way to invest in larger covered recycle containers for homes.

The pride needs to come back into our city, our neighborhoods, our school grounds, our waters, our harbor inlets, all our open areas.

We don’t need another survey of cruise ship passengers saying they liked Gloucester but couldn’t believe how trashy it was. I just did four bags on my hill one week ago and it’s all back again. It truly takes a village.

DONNA VIAU

Gloucester Avenue, Gloucester