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Uncollected Trash

Refuse in the streets, left by city employees, reflects poor work ethic and thwarts beach recovery efforts

Mayor Blake,

Please do your job and administer Milford city services, as you were elected to do.

This morning again, Public Works behaved like a sullen child. In fact, as trash removal services rolled past the trash containers on East Broadway, leaving them uncollected and easy pickings for birds and animals, I questioned why my covered receptacle was not emptied. The city employee quipped back an adolescent answer.

As you’ll see in accompanying photos, East Broadway is not only awash in trash from Hurricane Sandy and the snowstorm Nemo, but in today’s trash left uncollected by Public Works. More than ten days after the snowstorm, huge snow banks block parking spaces for many residents who live year round at Milford beach, and more dangerously, block the vision of motorists and pedestrians approaching area intersections.Trash services are sporadic.

Has Milford not cultivated its shoreline real estate over the years? Does it not benefit from active beach recreational enterprise? Is the tax base not amply supplemented by the shoreline community—owners and renters who pay high taxes and rents? Does it not benefit from residents who volunteer for beach cleanups? Aren’t beach residents entitled to the same services the rest of Milford receives? How can the city bite the hand that feeds it—its residents?

The massive amount of snow that fell impeded normal living for all of us, whether we live on a city street, country road or at the beach. Most of us waited patiently for the roads to be plowed, but beach dwellings were left behind. Still, with trash day approaching, we dutifully placed our recycling containers and trash receptacles on top of the snow—since the only other place to deposit them was in the middle of a narrow street.

Having been the brunt of Public Works’ unfoundedly sloppy treatment in the past, I was especially careful to place my covered bin in easy reach, on the snow. Other students who live adjacent, left their bins on the sidewalk, clearly in reach as well.  Trash was properly bagged.

But ill-tempered Public Works employees refused pick up.

The only guess to explain why Public Works’ refuses to pick up this trash is volume. Indeed, our stretch of the road is populated by many students crowded into beach cottages, as owners like to maximize rental income and the city encourages this. Yes, students are notorious for trashing the neighborhood. But if only one bin is misplaced, our trash collectors whiz by another ten bins, properly placed.

Does this carelessness, and callousness, serve the larger community or the city of Milford? Does it enhance Milford’s coastline? Milford beaches are the most unkempt beaches in southern Connecticut, and we can thank our Public Works department, and Mayor Blake’s lack of attention, for that.

When it comes to city services at the beach, the city is absent. Mayor Blake permits the Public Works department to arbitrarily decide when to apply city services, and when not to; when to pick up trash, when to leave it; when and how much snow to remove.

Why does this natural resource, the precious shoreline, suffer the abuse not only of nature, but of its own city employees?

Mayor Blake, reign in your capricious and ineffective Public Works employees or replace them with people who care about their city.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

C.S. February 21, 2013 at 01:07 AM
The patch really needs an edit post option. Pick up THE recycling, sorry.
Concerned Parent February 21, 2013 at 03:02 AM
I've been in Milford for 17 years and never experienced a problem with public works. Between Hurricane Sandy and the blizzard, public works was faced with some real challenges in order to do their pickups. If there is still debris hanging around from Sandy down by Silver Sands, I would direct concerns to the home owners who left it there and not necessarily the mayor or public works dept.
Martin Casey February 21, 2013 at 03:16 AM
The photo of the black garbage bags ripped apart by animals seems to show that those black bags are filled with mostly recyclable garbage (glass, plastics, aluminum), which as we all know as citizens of Milford and 'single-stream recyclers' belong in those lovely big green bins that we were all issued last year, and not mixed in with regular trash. I don't think the city garbage men are supposed to pick up recyclables... isn't that contracted out to CRRA?
Michael Nelson February 21, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Does anyone have any idea if Milford will ever go to automatic trash bins? My trash cans are in need of replacing and I prefer not to put in the investment if, in a few years, they'll be trash...
Michael Nelson February 21, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Whoa, Ed... Hi Michael Nelson, Ed commented on Uncollected Trash, which you are following. "MIchael, I suggest you buy some heavy duty garbage bags because I refuse to use my hard earned tax dollars to pay for something you can very easily purchase at Walmart." My question wasn't about tax dollars - try decaf tomorrow. I simply asked whether anyone knows if the Milford DPW is changing over to automated trash bin service. And on a related note, perhaps after a little researching, you'd recognize that the cost savings of not needing 4 guys per truck but one saves a town millions, assuming the town can get over the hump of explaining this cost savings to the unions who would be losing members... A simple "nope - I have no idea" would have sufficed, Ed.

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