So the city’s finances stink. Ok, we get that. Times are tough for almost everyone, unless you’ve got a corporate overlord wanting to build towers in South Lake Union. Just saying— you think those folks have a problem finding garbage cans?
Yes! Garbage cans. They cost money so the city is taking them out. Fair enough— but on Jackson Street we’ve got litter everywhere, sending the signal that no one gives a damn and we don’t have a chance to turn that around if there aren’t garbage cans or if the few we have are in the wrong place.
Neighbor Mike sent us a letter he wrote to Eric Bird of Seattle Public Utilities. We think it’s right on.
Thanks for the reply, Eric. I understand there are budgetary constraints. The problem is that in this area public litter is a huge problem for whatever reason. We need more cans, not less. Other, wealthier neighborhoods where litter is not so much a problem I suspect are not getting their cans removed, much like they didn’t get as many bus stops cut.
I walk every day either to the bus stop or to Starbuck’s or to Red Apple. And every trip I make I pick up trash and/or recycling items along the way to dump into the can at 23rd and Jackson. I can only do this because there is (or used to be) a recycling container in front of Starbuck’s to dump the cans and bottles in before I get to my destination. Others I know also do this. Jackson is a dump as it is (we can’t even get broken street lights that were hit by a car more than a year ago fixed!). It’s only going to get worse without enough containers and as our good deeds of clean-up go undone. I cannot walk into Starbuck’s and unload my two handfuls of street recycling there.
If we cannot have additional containers at least we should use some common sense in locating the few we have. The recycling bin on the south side of Jackson across from Starbucks is useless. That’s not where people hang out and consume beverages or read newspapers. That happens at the bus stop across the street at Starbucks. People used that recycling on the north side at the bus stop. Garbage or recycling there eventually get thrown into the bins or just tossed into the bushes or left on the bench. If stuff didn’t make it to the containers it was there for easy clean-up by people like me. Just move the recycling bin across the street to the bus stop in front of Starbucks.
There is also an unneccesary trash can mid-block in front of the senior housing where there used to be a bus stop (recently removed by budgetary contraints), and there is now no cans at the actual bus stop in front of the purple mini-mart at the NW corner of MLK and Jackson. Just move it down the street from an unneeded location to a needed location. Where people wait for buses at corners is prime littering area. The cans need to be there, not mid-block.
The stretch of Jackson on the north side from 26th to 25th is one of the most littered parts of Seattle. I blame the absence of trash cans at 26th and Jackson (NW corner) for a lot of that. The car repair shop of course does nothing to clean up their frontage, but people could help if there was a place there to put their empty soda can or whatever.
The clean-up of litter on the streets will be a lot more expensive for the City if it’s scattered all up and down the street on the ground, covered in mud, hanging from tree branches (plastic bags), then if it’s in cans. Why not schedule pick-up of the cans less often rather than simply getting rid of them? At the very least they have to be relocated to do the most good.
You need something quick to do to lend a hand to make Jackson Street a bit better? Drop Eric a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know we need the city to get the garbage cans in the right places and we need that now! IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!