LETTER: New Trash Bins the Last Straw

One resident doesn't like the landscape littered with the new trash bins.

To the Editor:

Hamden, Ct. in the early 1960’s when my family settled here, was the envy of the New Haven relatives. Being able to live in a beautiful picturesque New England town, we were so proud!

Tree lined streets, manicured lawns, each school with a ball field and swing set, the Plaza and the Mart at our fingertips. More expensive to live than the former Hill Section, but still very reasonable for what was offered.

Hamden, Ct. 2014! While riding down the major and side streets that were once the site of beauty, peace and tranquility, it is now an utter disgrace! I see nothing to be proud of any longer in the town of Hamden, in fact, just the opposite.

I am ashamed of my hometown. I am ashamed of the litter, the blight, the road conditions, the constant fear residents must live in due to the overwhelming criminal element. As I turned the corner to my street I see nothing but over grown town property that must be negotiated as to not scratch your car.

I see trash thrown into the overgrown mess, trash strewn around the curb-sides now abandoned and left with nothing but TREE STUMPS for the past two years — stumps created by the Mayors decision; that not scratching the street sweeper or paver was more of a priority than the little ambiance that was left after the Tornado of 1989.

My taxes have doubled since Jackson was first voted in, the town services have slowly been taken away or made literally impossible for residents to take advantage of. You could plan a family vacation with less effort than coordinating a trip to the dump.

But the latest decision by our illustrious mayor has to be one of the most poignant in realizing he has no vision for Hamden other than it to be the new New Haven. What a disgusting eye sore to see house after house two large monstrosities – one blue and one green. Even the most beautifully manicured lawn, painted / decorated house and paved driveway is brought down with the inability to hide the new trash receptacles the size of a compact car.

Why not a dumpster at the end of each block? At least then the middle of the block stands a chance of looking decent. For all the money wasted in this town on nonsense, I can’t believe this was necessary! Who seems to benefit here? The trash company who can now function with less manpower? 

Once again Mayor Jackson, BAD DECISION!! You who grew up in this town, you who spout the phrase you want your children to grow up in the Hamden you did. Yet you continuously make decisions that bring this town down year after year! 

I guess it’s true what they say, you can’t go home – especially when the powers to be are insisted on making the place nothing but an OVER PRICED CRAP HOLE!! 

Thanks to your decisions over the past five years, I no longer desire to live here, yet you’ve made it impossible to be able to sell! Shame on those entrusted by the voters to do what should be best for Hamden – you have no clue!!

Linda Connors
Ann February 05, 2014 at 01:00 PM
I encourage anyone who wants smaller bins to contact proach@hamden.com and cleng@hamden.com. I heard from Curt Leng just now that the Town "will work to accommodate as many households that need the additional smaller size." When you contact the Town, provide your address and phone number (so that you can be called when the bins will be distributed) and indicate whether you want 64- or 48-gallon blue and/or green bins.
Woodin St Resident February 05, 2014 at 03:13 PM
Thank Linda but they are on order and will be here in June LOL.On sale for $299.
J D C February 05, 2014 at 03:19 PM
May I ask does anyone know what town or city had this first in CT?
Marjorie B. February 05, 2014 at 08:02 PM
Trash barrel update: we ordered the 48 gallon bins and we are not charging anything for them. We are finding the additional funds in some other account. The original 1.8 million bonded for this program has been spent. I suppose another 60,000 is a drop in the bucket if it completes the job they set out to do which is to replace the cans we were using. Is anyone unhappy with the public display of our new receptacles all over town?
Ann February 05, 2014 at 10:41 PM
Hi, MARJORIE. Did the Council approve the FUNDING or the ORDERING of the bins? According to Curt Leng's message to me this morning (and as I posted above): "We are researching various options for smaller containers, with 48 being the likely next option made available. Funding for the new size was approved tonight at the Legislative Council meeting, which will allow us to move forward with the procurement process." DO YOU KNOW, MARJORIE, HOW MANY NEW BINS, of smaller size than 64-gallons, WILL BE ORDERED.
Ann February 05, 2014 at 10:45 PM
AND UNHAPPY ABOUT THE PUBLIC DISPLAY of bins all over town, MARJORIE? I'M NOT UNHAPPY, I'M APPALLED AND REVOLTED by the change that the horrendous electric blue bins have caused to our visual environment. For example, Morris Street, which used to be a very attractive street in Whitneyville is a MESS!! Drive down it one of these days. It's TRASH CAN CITY!!
J D C February 05, 2014 at 10:55 PM
Marjorie B., what is the number they put out for what was spent ON THE BINS alone? I guesstimated from number of homes (apprx) 15,000 x $130- 2 bins at $65 per =$1.95 million. Since you say $1.8 mil was bonded I half to think I'm right on it.
J D C February 05, 2014 at 10:59 PM
Oh yeah and I too am APPALLED by the look of them, IN MY YARD! lol
Hamden Resident 1994 February 06, 2014 at 09:36 AM
Seeing as how my street wasn't properly plowed, all the trash cans made my street almost impassable. Not to mention all the mailboxes that got slaughtered. Has anyone else noticed how nice these trash can roll in the snow? It's like pulling a car
J D C February 06, 2014 at 10:56 AM
Hahahaha a VW or Mini Cooper? lol so right!
Marjorie B. February 06, 2014 at 03:50 PM
800 48 gallon totes is the number we were told was going to be ordered. Whether or not the order has gone in is nit clear, they were merely asking for the funds to cover it.
Ann February 06, 2014 at 04:51 PM
Thanks, MARJORIE. I think it's funny that Curt Leng has ambitions to be Mayor of Hamden, don't you?
J D C February 06, 2014 at 05:22 PM
"The original 1.8 million bonded for this program has been spent". Pop goes the "SURPLUS", four fold! Hey did anyone else read about THIS in the NH RAGister? Thats odd, I read about the PHENOMENAL surplus though! And what a GREAT job of money management it was. But I never heard of THIS until the "bins" were on their way! DNA collection on EVERY citizen, if they were communist or some other "IST", but I know its in safe hands with THESE guys.............................hehe
Marjorie B. February 06, 2014 at 05:59 PM
I don't know about anyone's ambition but if we don't stop business as usual, meaning spend spend spend, we are going to be up the proverbial river. Not to say we aren't half way there already!
Ann February 06, 2014 at 08:28 PM
I am appalled that the bins were bought with borrowed money. I suppose someone persuaded the Council that bins counted as "capital improvements" to the town and they were bought with LOCIP funds. It's easy to run a surplus if you don't pay for what you buy. So we have Scott Jackson and Curt Leng crowing about a surplus of $492,000 (as per the Register) and yet we owe $1.8 million more than we did before because we bought these ridiculous trash cans.
Carma February 09, 2014 at 08:51 AM
I am trying really hard to be flexible and patient with these new bins....but....they barely fit I n my garage....we have to squeeze our vehicles between them (I often bang my mirror on them) and push and maneuver them around to get into and out of, and around, our vehicles. I don't have a (practical/convenient)place to store them outside....and I don't want to add to the eyesore that has been created by the many people who have to leave them outside. If smaller bins can/will be issued, what happens to the large ones that have already been delivered? Will the town pick them up? And, how ridiculous that even more money will ave to be sent to redistribute smaller bins. I hope they can figure this out. I love ths town, but I am getting tired of paying higher and higher taxes to make up for bad planning and decision making. I am hoping that thus will all work out for the best in the long run...
Carma February 09, 2014 at 08:52 AM
Sorry about the many typos in my last post!!!
J D C February 09, 2014 at 09:03 AM
It COULD be a bad comedy show on TV, it REALLY could. Pathetic
Woodin St Resident February 09, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Should have sent out a questionair to us to see what size cans we needed before this project was started .Would have saved them Their time and Our money
Ann February 09, 2014 at 10:38 AM
CAROL - if you want smaller bins (64- or 48-gallon for trash and/or recycling), write to proach@hamden.com cc cleng@hamden.com with your name, address and phone number. You will receive a call when bins have arrived and you will be able to put your bins out for replacements. I already had my 96's removed and replaced by 64's, which are still much too big for me to manage (I don't know how I'll manage this week with all the snow and ice!!). I have asked for 48's and hope to receive them eventually.
J D C February 09, 2014 at 03:02 PM
We should just leave them out!
Marjorie B. February 09, 2014 at 08:02 PM
@Woodin street resident...I asked Curt Leng if any effort was made to see how many of each can we needed based on the needs of the populace at the last town committee meeting. The answer was no. The answer was "other towns use one size fits all" so that is what they did. Yes, it is going to cost the town another 60,000$ to purchase and distribute the smaller cans on top of the 1.8 million we already spent. The Mayor thought it would beautify the town if we all had the same bins rather than the rag tag bunch of cans we were using before. At least we could store away out. of sight the ones we were using. But that is the problem with central planning, one size is supposed to fit all until it doesn't.
Ann February 09, 2014 at 10:23 PM
Marjorie, IT HAS TO BE A JOKE that the Mayor thought that the town would look better if everyone had a pair of bins as big as I am, with one of them being electric blue!!!! You are right about "central planning" in this case. However, "central planning" COULD have done a much better job if there had been some intelligent "central thinking" before we got into this hideous (in all senses of the word) MESS.
J D C February 10, 2014 at 10:44 AM
The town would be "beautified by the bins". I'm sure those were his words and it is comforting to know that when we sink into the abyss of destitution we will LOOK GOOD anyway!. I DOUBT there has EVER, EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND been a BUSINESS or a home buyer that made the decision of whether to move someplace, OR a home was appraised, with ANY stock put into the look of the GARBAGE CANS! To even make that statement while we are in this HOLE makes him a simpleton but anybody that would BELIEVE HIM should be rubber roomed, STAT!
Ann February 10, 2014 at 12:11 PM
One things for sure, down here in the south end of Town, for example, on Morris Street, the Town looks a whole lot worse. If anything, people are going to have a harder time selling their homes in Hamden because of the unescapable eyesore of electric blue bins everywhere. Not to mention that I had to wrestle my bins down a step, through the snow and past my car on my snow-narrowed driveway before I could leave them in the street (!!!) for pickup tomorrow.
Beth February 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM
I'm all for increased recycling but honestly how well was this thought out? In addition to previously raised issues, consider one-way streets. The new garbage and recycling trucks have the pick-up arm on the right side. It can't reach over to the left side of the street or go the wrong way down a one-way street. This necessitates having a second (armless) truck with two men pick up the left side of these streets. It doesn't look to me like these trucks can read microchips. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. The bins are an eyesore, a hassle and make too much noise. I'd like to see them gone but if this change makes people recycle more then they're not all bad.
Ann February 13, 2014 at 05:29 PM
The Administration's dirty little secret is that the Town PAID for the microchips but has no intention of making use of the data that they provide. The whole idea is that each home should put out a certain ratio (by weight) of trash (twice every two weeks) and recycling (once every two weeks) and, if it doesn't Curt Leng will come after you and hit you, as hard as he can, with a feather. However, there are so many variables in the mix (for example, some neighbors are using other people's bins for their single bags of trash so that they don't have to manhandle their huge bins; some people won't put out recyclables every two weeks because they haven't filled their bin; some people, if they have a lot of recyclables might put some in their green trash bin if their big blue bin is full etc. etc.). The Einsteins at Center One aren't equipped to deal with these permutations and combinations. Not to mention that among bins of forty people who responded to an informal survey of mine two days ago, a third of the bins weren't emptied properly when they were picked up.
Ann February 13, 2014 at 05:33 PM
As someone on the Legislative Council wrote to me recently, "I asked Pam Roach about the ordinance and they said they were not going to enforce it. Just like they said they won't fine people for not recycling."
Ellie April 04, 2014 at 02:50 PM
Having complained bitterly about this ill-conceived rubbish collection system from its inception, I can only encourage people to take pictures of the bins laying willy-nilly all over the roads with nary a cover closed & see that the mayor gets to see the fruits of his creation. To drive down any street in this town is to see the ugly bins decorating the landscaping because homeowners have no place to store then except out in the open. Dealing with them twice on collection day is double the effort I've had to devote to rubbish in the 37 years I've lived in this town. I've been railroaded into accepting something for which I have absolutely no desire or need. As of today I was told by Ms Roach that "The Town's administration is still looking into acquiring smaller carts." So getting the 48 gal size doesn't appear to be a done deal. What a fiasco.
chuck April 04, 2014 at 09:05 PM
Ellie...you write like I do. I enjoyed reading your post. I live in another town but clearly it seems you have a debacle on your hands. Fiasco defined in the Oxford dictionary is "something that is a complete failure." You (and others) would obviously agree with that in this case. God help us. You can't make this up can you?


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