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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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stani wrote:
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jaah37 wrote:
No audition, no committee. I wrote to Fulop about my garbage/JCIA concerns and he wrote me back about the possibility of putting together a meeting at City Hall with the CEO of the JCIA and a couple of other residents who coincidentally had written him with similar concerns. He is trying to get that meeting for June 3 @ 5:30 pm but nothing has been confirmed yet. If you would like to be a part of it write him an explain your take and ideas and ask him if it would be possible to participate. I'm not sure how many residents will be there or how big/small of a group he had planned for, but if you have some good points/ ideas that weren't already covered I can't see why you shouldn't be able to have input.


Do you know if this meeting is going to take place? If so, where and when? I'd like to attend if it's open.


The meeting is scheduled for Thurs June 4 at 7pm in City Hall. I was invited because I wrote to Steve Fulop of my concerns as well did other residents with similar concerns. I am not sure if the meeting is open or how large or small of a meeting Steve planned for. What I suggest is you write to Steve Fulop with you concerns and ideas about the garbage/JCIA issue and ask him if you can attend. I can not speak for him but if you have some good ideas or something to add that wasn't already covered by your fellow residents, I can't see why you couldn't join us. I would think your contribution would be welcomed. Community involvement is a great thing! Thanks.

Posted on: 2009/5/31 21:05
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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jaah37 wrote:
No audition, no committee. I wrote to Fulop about my garbage/JCIA concerns and he wrote me back about the possibility of putting together a meeting at City Hall with the CEO of the JCIA and a couple of other residents who coincidentally had written him with similar concerns. He is trying to get that meeting for June 3 @ 5:30 pm but nothing has been confirmed yet. If you would like to be a part of it write him an explain your take and ideas and ask him if it would be possible to participate. I'm not sure how many residents will be there or how big/small of a group he had planned for, but if you have some good points/ ideas that weren't already covered I can't see why you shouldn't be able to have input.


Do you know if this meeting is going to take place? If so, where and when? I'd like to attend if it's open.

Posted on: 2009/5/31 20:41
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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alanwright wrote:
T-Bird wrote:
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So... how do you "correct" that type of behavior? This doesn't seem to be someone who should have a "different cultural norm" that causes her to behave this way (as was suggested earlier in the thread).


Her bad practice is from the bad old days of somewhere. Maybe here. It's still a "different cultural norm" in that it's an outmoded one.

Death will "cure" it, because it cures all ills. Which is to say, some people may be too far gone.

The rest of us will use bins.


You correct their behavior by taking a picture/video of them in the act of illegal dumping and having them fined. If you hit them enough times in the wallet you stand the best chance to change behavior! There must be a consequence for their irresponsible actions.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 23:30
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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T-Bird wrote:
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So... how do you "correct" that type of behavior? This doesn't seem to be someone who should have a "different cultural norm" that causes her to behave this way (as was suggested earlier in the thread).


Her bad practice is from the bad old days of somewhere. Maybe here. It's still a "different cultural norm" in that it's an outmoded one.

Death will "cure" it, because it cures all ills. Which is to say, some people may be too far gone.

The rest of us will use bins.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 20:35
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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alanwright wrote:

Two weeks ago I saw a 70-something woman near Holy Rosary take a small garbage-bag and drop it onto the sewer grate. She looked some regular old Italian lady to me, but perhaps I'm saying that because I was near the church.

She was a church-going, matronly litterbug. So, it's not just the high schoolers. This town and its sewers overflow with selfishness and shortsightedness.


So... how do you "correct" that type of behavior? This doesn't seem to be someone who should have a "different cultural norm" that causes her to behave this way (as was suggested earlier in the thread).

I don't expect an answer to my question. I certainly don't have it. But I am looking forward to working with Stani and Jaah and whoever else gets on board to try to figure out the answer. It seems to me with such a basic quality of life issue you should be able to hit a point of progress where you start to turn a corner and you see actual change. I'm not naive enough to think that Jersey City will soon become litter-free, but I am optimistic enough to believe that change can happen and it has to start somewhere.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 20:16
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Vigilante wrote:

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Also people all over JC love to dump their trash into the sewer-grates along the street corners and then scratch their heads in wonderment when the streets flood during rainstorms. It's a mix of laziness, ignorance and cultural norms that feed this problem.


Two weeks ago I saw a 70-something woman near Holy Rosary take a small garbage-bag and drop it onto the sewer grate. She looked some regular old Italian lady to me, but perhaps I'm saying that because I was near the church.

She was a church-going, matronly litterbug. So, it's not just the high schoolers. This town and its sewers overflow with selfishness and shortsightedness.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 4:12
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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When I lived in a multi-unit building at Coles and 9th Street the single family homeowners along Coles and 9th. would constantly leave their household trash in front of our building. It seems that people think it's okay to dump whatever they want in front of bigger buildings because those residents will take the blame.
Also people all over JC love to dump their trash into the sewer-grates along the street corners and then scratch their heads in wonderment when the streets flood during rainstorms. It's a mix of laziness, ignorance and cultural norms that feed this problem.
I always make an effort to keep my street clean. I will often sweep up the areas in front of mine and my neighbors homes. BTW I Rent.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 4:05
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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T-Bird wrote:
Stani - I don't see why we can't go down both roads. The opportunity to sit with Fulop and the JCIA face to face, I would think, is a great place to start.

Jaah - I threw out, off the top of my head, a half dozen ideas. If I spent a few hours online, I could probably come up with a dozen more. Would I have to audition to come to your meeting? Is there a committee???


No audition, no committee. I wrote to Fulop about my garbage/JCIA concerns and he wrote me back about the possibility of putting together a meeting at City Hall with the CEO of the JCIA and a couple of other residents who coincidentally had written him with similar concerns. He is trying to get that meeting for June 3 @ 5:30 pm but nothing has been confirmed yet. If you would like to be a part of it write him an explain your take and ideas and ask him if it would be possible to participate. I'm not sure how many residents will be there or how big/small of a group he had planned for, but if you have some good points/ ideas that weren't already covered I can't see why you shouldn't be able to have input.
If for some reason Steve can't put the meeting together then maybe we should all meet and formulate some sort of plan w/ Stani and the crew. I'm just waiting to hear back from Steve for conformation.

Posted on: 2009/5/27 3:25
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Stani - I don't see why we can't go down both roads. The opportunity to sit with Fulop and the JCIA face to face, I would think, is a great place to start.

Jaah - I threw out, off the top of my head, a half dozen ideas. If I spent a few hours online, I could probably come up with a dozen more. Would I have to audition to come to your meeting? Is there a committee???

Posted on: 2009/5/27 0:52
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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jaah37 wrote:

I suggest you write an email to Steve Fulop. He is working on putting a meeting together with some concerned citizens and the CEO of the JCIA for June 3. Myself and a few others have written Steve on the trash issue, let him know your ideas and if you have something new or unique to add you could possibly join us. ( If the meeting is secured)

Thanks


I'm concerned about the issue, but can't say I have any ideas more than knowing specific garbage cans where household garbage is dumped, knowing that public garbage cans aren't picked up frequently enough and that there are many places that could use more garbage cans. Knowing this and communicating this to Fulop or the JCIA is not enough. I've brought these issues up before at HPNA meetings and nothing happens.

What I had in mind was that a group of like-minded citizens would get together, define the problem, come up with some action plans, present the plans to whoever can do something about it and then follow up on what's been done. In other words, a proactive, involved, focused group of neighbors that come together to tackle one issue. It sounds like you've already started the process. Why not have a meeting amongst ourselves about this? I'm sure together we could come up with more than on our own.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 20:01
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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stani wrote:
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T-Bird wrote:

I'm in if there are at least a half-dozen or so others who are willing to get involved. Let me know either on the thread or with a pm if you are interested.


I suggested this a few days ago and got not takers. T-Bird I'm in also. That makes two of us. Let's hear from a few more and then take it off-list.


I suggest you write an email to Steve Fulop. He is working on putting a meeting together with some concerned citizens and the CEO of the JCIA for June 3. Myself and a few others have written Steve on the trash issue, let him know your ideas and if you have something new or unique to add you could possibly join us. ( If the meeting is secured)

Thanks

Posted on: 2009/5/26 19:36
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Re: Trash Cans for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Many years ago my father-in-law put out a small metal can next to the tree in front of his house for people to drop their garbage in, since they would throw it around the tree. Next thing we knew, a neighbor had complained about the trash can out when it wasn't garbage day - and a nice ticket to go along with that complaint. He had to pay the ticket.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 18:36
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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T-Bird wrote:

I'm in if there are at least a half-dozen or so others who are willing to get involved. Let me know either on the thread or with a pm if you are interested.


I suggested this a few days ago and got not takers. T-Bird I'm in also. That makes two of us. Let's hear from a few more and then take it off-list.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 16:29
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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First off - Alan: I like the new avatar. Major improvement!

Quote:

alanwright wrote: .... What's needed is more contact, more lobbying, and more responsibility by citizens. The government will not do the job right or well, with or without Milton Friedman.

That said, my friend has a solution few would go along with: he volunteers his time, seeking no reward or recognition and responding to no directive... and picks recycling from local trash bins. He also attaches buckets to the garbage bins to serve as recycling containers. This is just one option for community-led change. Trash "brigades" would be another, was suggested. Or, the Doe Fund could be expanded through community donations which request expanded coverage. Etc.

...and, one day, rubbish bins will be designed and procured for modern rubbish: mostly recyclable, mostly packaging, mostly hand-held, and mostly reflecting an unnecessary short-term use (wrappers, baggies, napkins, to-go containers, and other commercial refuse which is definitionally a negative externality).


Maybe what Alan is suggesting is what it boils down to: perhaps the people posting on this thread and a few other like-minded souls need to own this issue. Recognizing that this is an uphill climb given the current economic environment, there'd need to be resolve to make this a long-term effort. Whether it's trash brigades, raising funds for more and better functioning trash receptacles, researching what other cities are doing, going to city council and related meetings to create greater awareness among the target audience (becoming the "squeaky wheel") - whatever it takes to turn the corner on what is one of the most basic quality of life issues. Maybe it's a public/private partnership. Maybe there are businesses who'd be interested in providing funding. Plenty of potential options to explore - just a matter of doing it!

I'm in if there are at least a half-dozen or so others who are willing to get involved. Let me know either on the thread or with a pm if you are interested.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 15:50
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Binky wrote:
When someone puts their plastic bag of their dog's scooped poop in my plastic trash can, and it sits in the hot summer sun for a couple of days, it bakes a semi-permanent stench into the can.
I end up having to wash the can out with diluted bleach and leave it to air out in order to rid it of the odor.

I would guess that its a rare house owner who would be okay with that system. Take it home with you.
I would also guess that most people who drop litter on the street wouldn't bother carrying it as far as the next corner to a public trash bin.

Yet another reason, why the notion of homeowners providing cans won’t work…

We’re in the historic district, so I don’t know if this is applicable/enforced everywhere. 4 or 5 years ago, we kept our covered garbage cans on our side of the low fence that separates our property from the sidewalk. The NID sent us a “warning”, citing some statue and claimied that cans can’t be visible out front. They threatened a fine if we didn’t move them.

Ultimately, we bought one of the big plastic Suncast bins to put the cans in and that seemed to pacify the NID.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 13:27
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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JerseyCityNj wrote:
Although I know there are negatives involved it also helps when property owners have cans out that someone passing by can throw out small amounts of trash.... It is things like that I will never understand, how you have a problem with litter but you get mad when people don't litter and use your can.


When someone puts their plastic bag of their dog's scooped poop in my plastic trash can, and it sits in the hot summer sun for a couple of days, it bakes a semi-permanent stench into the can.
I end up having to wash the can out with diluted bleach and leave it to air out in order to rid it of the odor.

I would guess that its a rare house owner who would be okay with that system. Take it home with you.
I would also guess that most people who drop litter on the street wouldn't bother carrying it as far as the next corner to a public trash bin.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 12:59
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Although I know there are negatives involved it also helps when property owners have cans out that someone passing by can throw out small amounts of trash. Not every property owner can do this but it does help. For example the buildings with a small four foot gate that has trash cans there already, sometimes placing them on the side of the gate closer to the sidewalk helps bring the levels of litter down for that block.

I remember someone picking up litter in front of a building (it wasn't theirs and they didn't live there). The garbage can for that building was a few feet behind a gate with a lid on it so that person went to throw it out there by walking in the gate. When they went to lift the lid a resident came out and yelled at them saying, "this is private property, get off my property, throw it out in your own garbage can". So that person just simply put the trash back in front of there house and walked away. The owner was yelling after that about them littering. It is things like that I will never understand, how you have a problem with litter but you get mad when people don't litter and use your can.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 6:35
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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The reason I criticized public servant(s) is that, as demonstrated in the first post in this thread, they apparently don't "get it". They ought to, but the average public servant would not see the macro level... even though some head whole departments. It seems Incinerator, Parks, and Animal Control are, unfortunately, resistant to change.

In turn, I criticized voting as it reflects only a once-annual expression of the democratic experience, and even then very few positions are elected positions. A once-annual game is an insufficient way to get anything out of politics. What's needed is more contact, more lobbying, and more responsibility by citizens. The government will not do the job right or well, with or without Milton Friedman.

That said, my friend has a solution few would go along with: he volunteers his time, seeking no reward or recognition and responding to no directive... and picks recycling from local trash bins. He also attaches buckets to the garbage bins to serve as recycling containers. This is just one option for community-led change. Trash "brigades" would be another, was suggested. Or, the Doe Fund could be expanded through community donations which request expanded coverage. Etc.

...and, one day, rubbish bins will be designed and procured for modern rubbish: mostly recyclable, mostly packaging, mostly hand-held, and mostly reflecting an unnecessary short-term use (wrappers, baggies, napkins, to-go containers, and other commercial refuse which is definitionally a negative externality).

At the moment, the bins invite Jersey City dirtbags to dispose of their household trashbags.

Posted on: 2009/5/26 5:51
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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This can is on the corner of Monmouth St and Fourth. It was emptied on Thursday and by Saturday night...a whole TWO DAYS :

[img align=left]Photobucket[/img]

[img align=right]Photobucket[/img]

The can is needed there because a large group of high school kids congregate there on their lunchtime. If this can continues to be overfilled like this by household garbage what will happen? Eventually the can will be removed and alot MORE trash will wind up in the street and the sidewalk due to the fact the high school crowd has nowhere to throw ther garbage ( Though alot of the kids throw their trash on the ground anyway) It's like there is a cycle that is constantly being repeated in Jersey City:

1) Residents complain about trash on sidewalks and street to do no public cans

2) Public cans are installed and things get a bit better

3) Residents and illegal dumpers zone in on the cans and pile in their household trash and other items their to lazy to dispose of properly

4) Cans continue to overflow and smell, creating an eyesore. Neighbors and business owners get fed up and complain. CANS ARE REMOVED

5) Back to #1. Streets are unbearably filthy again

THIS IS PATHETIC!

Posted on: 2009/5/24 14:19
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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brewster wrote:
I don't get it why people use public containers for their household trash. Don't they get pickup like everyone else, or do they not want it "smelling up their house"? Regardless, there's a simple remedy used many places, a locked can top with small openings. Problem solved. Done.


These people think that what few public receptacles exist are there for their own personal use. They refuse to recycle properly, refuse to dispose of household trash properly, and refuse to dispose of non-household trash properly. They throw out this garbage in the trash cans so they won't get a ticket for whatever they are dumping illegally.

And then there are those people that think that they can use their neighbor's trash as their own. I've had a problem with neighbors on either side of our building since the day I moved in placing their trash with ours on garbage nights. I've even asked them to stop doing that.

And then there are those people that - and I have seen this - pull up in their cars and drop off their garbage in front of a building that they don't even live in. This has happened twice before at my building. The first time it happened as I was bringing our garbage out for the night I was just standing there in shock.

The JCIA and HCIA inspectors have been out several times to our place to help resolve these issues. I really love when people are dumb enough to leave mail with their name and address on it. Of course these same people probably never pay their tickets and the city probably isn't interested in getting their money as this issue isn't understandably a high priority.

Then again, does JC have anything as a high priority?

Posted on: 2009/5/24 12:34
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Maybe those of us who think this is an important issue should meet, come up with an action plan/recommendations and present these to the proper city agencies.

Posted on: 2009/5/24 11:46
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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jaah37 wrote:
Quote:

Binky wrote:
We can send litterers off to sit in the naughty corner.


Thanks for offering nothing to an intelligent discussion of a serious quality of a life issue. Please refrain from posting in this thread in the future.


I find the expression "Nanny State" humorous.
Get over yourself.

Don't like it? Don't read it.

On second thought, you may have never seen "Super Nanny", and my comment would then seem like a complete non-sequitur.

Posted on: 2009/5/23 19:37
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Quote:

Binky wrote:
We can send litterers off to sit in the naughty corner.


Thanks for offering nothing to an intelligent discussion of a serious quality of a life issue. Please refrain from posting in this thread in the future.

Posted on: 2009/5/23 19:19
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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We can send litterers off to sit in the naughty corner.

Posted on: 2009/5/23 18:13
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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I don't get it why people use public containers for their household trash. Don't they get pickup like everyone else, or do they not want it "smelling up their house"? Regardless, there's a simple remedy used many places, a locked can top with small openings. Problem solved. Done.

The larger problem as everyone has pointed out is getting people to care enough to put their trash in even if there is a receptacle. Some of this is cultural. A friend of mine in upper Manhattan rages about how the immigrant community that uses the local park heavily simply leaves it's trash everywhere. If you were raised in a shantytown slum, the idea of a trash free community simply is alien.

Then there's the people who should know better. How many time have you seen some ass toss their garbage out a of huge SUV onto our streets? Even the flicked out cigarettes add up. There was a recent article about Britain wanting to add a tax on them to cover the cost of cleaning them up.

Then there's gum. Again in Britain, a study showed the cost of cleaning up gum in public spaces higher than the profits made by the sellers of the gum there.

I think the overall lesson is we make it too easy to make your waste someone else's problem. It makes the "nannystate!" criers unhappy, but we need to close the loops. It only appears to cost money, otherwisw we all pay either for cleanup or in the decreased quality of life of living in a dump.

Posted on: 2009/5/23 17:09
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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T-Bird wrote:
Alan - I think we're largely on the same page. I'm not so quick to concede the importance of voting, however. Yes, voting will never be the solution in itself, but how can you dismiss it so readily? It should be the price of admission for receipt of municipal services. It seems to me that to think otherwise is just another in the long series of diminished expectations.

And while Minnesota may not be New Jersey, St. Paul, MN (and certainly the combined Minneapolis/St. Paul) is not a bad proxy for Jersey City. St. Paul is a bit larger (about 40,000 people) and has had major influx of Hmong, Vietnamese and Ethiopians. Very disparate cultures that don't find a welcoming, multi-generational base of antecedents upon arrival.

I am so tired of these conversations that invariably end in some form of "It's always been that way and will always be that way" simply because we're in New Jersey, or Jersey City or the Heights or Healy is the mayor or whatever the excuse of the day is. I really am not convinced that Jersey City is any more transient or has more poverty than many coastal cities and certainly there are cities out there doing a better job than JC is.

Quote:
alanwright wrote:
to expect that of a mere civil servant, though, is expecting too much. this ain't minnesota


You lost me here, though. Why shouldn't I expect a civil servant to do his/her job??? Maybe accountability among civil servants is exactly what we need to start to change the culture. Someone is hired to give out littering tickets and won't do it? We need to remove that person from his/her job, no? It all starts at the top and that civil servant is a representative of the top.

Seriously - what does it take to get a meaningful number of people involved in an issue like littering and what steps can we as individuals take once the obvious steps are exhausted? Group litter clean-ups? Purchasing cans privately and placing them on street corners? I'd love to hear suggestions...


I like the idea of businesses purchasing cans privately and keeping their cans out in front of their business during operating hours. (Especially pizza parlors, fast food rests. and deli that high school kids go to for lunch) At the end of the day they can take their cans back inside and secure them so no one can illegally dump trash in them or steal their can.

In addition, every business AND resident/homeowner should be responsible for keeping the front of there property clean and free of debri INCLUDING the gutter in front of the property. For some reason in Jersey City, people feel the gutter is not their responsibility...it's the street sweepers/ city's problem. I have seen people cleaning in front of their business/home and just sweep everything off the sidewalk and into the gutter as if the gutter doesn't fall under there jurisdiction. Inspectors should ride around and inspect the neighborhood everyday and hand out fines accordingly. That bring me to my last point.

It was mentioned earlier that a civil servant refused to hand out littering tickets. Are the JCPD the civil servants responsible for that? If they are not then maybe the reason fines aren't issued is because the ticket issuers feel unprotected and fearful of reprisal and violent attack. They need to feel safe to get involved.

Lastly, I would just like to mentioned I like the idea of group litter clean-ups. I participated in one a little over a week ago with the Village Neighborhhod Association and it went very well. I got to talk/meet and work with a bunch of my neighbors..some I knew and some I had just met. We picked up trash for an hour and a half all along Brunswick St, Newark, 2nd St and other parts of the Village. In the end it felt great making a visual difference in our neighborhood even if it was only for a week or so. It also made my area, the Village, feel just a little bit smaller getting to know my neighbors!

Thanks

Posted on: 2009/5/23 2:11
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Alan - I think we're largely on the same page. I'm not so quick to concede the importance of voting, however. Yes, voting will never be the solution in itself, but how can you dismiss it so readily? It should be the price of admission for receipt of municipal services. It seems to me that to think otherwise is just another in the long series of diminished expectations.

And while Minnesota may not be New Jersey, St. Paul, MN (and certainly the combined Minneapolis/St. Paul) is not a bad proxy for Jersey City. St. Paul is a bit larger (about 40,000 people) and has had major influx of Hmong, Vietnamese and Ethiopians. Very disparate cultures that don't find a welcoming, multi-generational base of antecedents upon arrival.

I am so tired of these conversations that invariably end in some form of "It's always been that way and will always be that way" simply because we're in New Jersey, or Jersey City or the Heights or Healy is the mayor or whatever the excuse of the day is. I really am not convinced that Jersey City is any more transient or has more poverty than many coastal cities and certainly there are cities out there doing a better job than JC is.

Quote:
alanwright wrote:
to expect that of a mere civil servant, though, is expecting too much. this ain't minnesota


You lost me here, though. Why shouldn't I expect a civil servant to do his/her job??? Maybe accountability among civil servants is exactly what we need to start to change the culture. Someone is hired to give out littering tickets and won't do it? We need to remove that person from his/her job, no? It all starts at the top and that civil servant is a representative of the top.

Seriously - what does it take to get a meaningful number of people involved in an issue like littering and what steps can we as individuals take once the obvious steps are exhausted? Group litter clean-ups? Purchasing cans privately and placing them on street corners? I'd love to hear suggestions...

Posted on: 2009/5/23 1:36
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Re: RECYCLING BINS for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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thank you all for some very stimulating posts.

this sounds like it could be a ripe forum to reignite the insider/outsider or old jc/ new jc or lifers/ renters debate. but, as that debate is usually pushed by one side at the expense of the other (leaving the whole world blind)... that would be an unfortunate distraction.

the reality, like it or not, is that jersey city often does not have much of the "something that binds" it together. some of that concern feeds the old/ new discussion.

our communities are sometimes transient and often in flux. in turn, we may apply lower standards and expectations to the problems being identified in this thread (traffic, litter, noise pollution, etc) because those standards and the "bad" behavior is informed by socioeconomic conditions here, immigration patterns and knowledge of the standards from the home country, or a simple loss of hope that politicians will act to benefit our community. thus, people expect less because they can't do more (socioeconomic), don't know better (lower standards), or gave up (loss of hope).

let's be honest: voting, a mere once-annual expression of representative democracy, is not the answer. it will never be the answer, though it may be indicative of a larger civic culture which chips away at the problems you've identified. it's not even part of the whole solution... it's a small component part of political action.

before addressing election registration and political action by citizens, one must confront more nebulous concepts: residential "ownership" of a community, home ownership in a community, social stratification and gentrification, upward and downward social mobility, etc. those are indicia of the "binding together" function. there are many more.

when we see trash cans and recycling bins on corners (most trash is recyclable), we will know the city cares about both aesthetics and litter-prevention as being beneficial to social cohesion. to expect that of a mere civil servant, though, is expecting too much. this ain't minnesota

many residents with first floor/ corner apts leave a bin handy and take the burden on themselves. businesses could do more to reduce litter, but perhaps they see their threshold as the end of the matter.

i'd say we should start there. change individual action. it won't be easy, and "litter" will certainly not be the call which unites the city in mutual respect

Posted on: 2009/5/23 0:02
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Re: Trash Cans for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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Jimmy/Jaah - I agree completely with both of you that this situation is intolerable and something should be done about it. What strikes me, though, is that litter just seems to be one more symptom of a deeper problem. (Feel free to insert your own symptoms here. There are many to choose from.)

I\'ve lived in a bunch of different places and Jersey City has stumped me. There seems to be an embedded indifference - almost a proactive indifference, if that were possible - toward many of the things that matter. I\'m not talking about the small (10? 15?) percentage of people who are engaged and trying to improve things in the ways engaged people do. Think about it - all of the registered members of JCList, seemingly a large, diverse group of people (certainly diverse in opinion) only account for a little more than 2% of the city\'s population.

Everyone agrees the schools are a mess but 95% of the people don\'t vote in the school board elections because they don\'t think anything will change. (Hopefully that\'s why they aren\'t voting and it\'s not entirely laziness...) People bitch and moan about the \"corrupt machine\" that governs the city, but 75% of the people don\'t bother to vote, even though most of them have been bombarded with reminders to vote and suggestions on how to vote for weeks.

People drive insanely through residential streets (admittedly, many of those people don\'t live here) but pedestrians are almost as bad, slowly walking out into streets in the middle of blocks, not bothering to look in either direction all the while talking on a cell phone or texting and seemingly daring you to hit them.

Policing is erratic at best. In significant chunks of the city, kids roam unchecked with no regard for the safety or property of others. Trash is strewn everywhere. It\'s as though no one cares about the city in which they live. Maybe most people take adequate care of their individual homes and some will have a radius that extends to the end of their block or even their neighborhood, but why is it that everything seems to break down when it becomes a citywide issue?

I think the biggest difference between Jersey City and (pick another city that doesn\'t suffer from the same issues - I\'ll choose St. Paul, Minnesota) is that there is nothing that binds people together here. Many white-collar professionals live downtown for a while and then flee to their breeding grounds when the time comes. Many parts of the city seem to be divided into their ethnic components and once people are outside of their neighborhood they may as well be in another state.

I\'ve lived here for several years and can\'t remember walking down the street and having a serendipitous conversation with a stranger outside of my neighborhood. People don\'t say \"hello\" or make eye contact. I run in Liberty State Park most mornings and say hello to most people I encounter - some are shocked. The reason I picked St. Paul is because in addition to being very diverse, like JC, they have had an advertising campaign for years to promote \"Minnesota Nice\". People who have moved there from other states and countries know about \"Minnesota Nice\" and residents there live the motto. It sounds incredibly hokey, I know - except that it works. Maybe a\"Hello Jersey City\" campaign would be money better spent than some of the other things on the city budget?

Sorry this grew into a book. I just don\'t understand how as a city, we all tolerate such low standards and seemingly have no expectations for better. To me, trash is an indicator of a much bigger problem!

Posted on: 2009/5/22 22:47
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Re: Trash Cans for Jersey City - Change We Want to See
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I feel your frustration Jimmy and I wish I had some simple remedies for answers to your well thought out questions, but sadly I do not. Alot of public cans get removed because people WILL NOT STOP putting household garbage into public cans causing constant overflow. The cans become an eyesore and smell quite badly in the summer...no business wants them in front of there store. Sometimes the JCIA or whoever is in charge of picking up the trash from the public cans doesn't empty the cans on the scheduled pick-up days. I have even caught them skimming the overflow garbage off the top and leaving the can inside the barrel completely or partially full. I have called them when I see a can is overfilled and been told multiple times by the dispatcher they will take care of it ( I usually call in the morning) only to come home from work at 10pm to find the overfilled can still unemptied. It's frustrating.

The JCIA needs to get serious about cleaning up the city. They need to be held accountable to their scheduled pick up time and when a resident phones in reporting a overfilled can in need of attention , they need to handle it promptly. They also need to be contientious about doing their jobs...when dumping a can make sure ALL the trash makes it in the truck and not spilled in the street

The JCIA or Health Dept needs to get serious about catching and fining residents, business and out of town trash dumpers. Security cams and possibly following up residents reports of illegal dumping by staking out a problem can may be a good place to start. I believe in some cases they may even take the illegally dumped trash and go through the bags to find an address of the perp. Some people are very stupid and/or stubborn. These cases may have to be repeatedly fined, I like to use the phrase FINED INTO SUBMISSION.

Something has to be done with all the high school students who are let out in droves at lunchtime. They go to pizza parlors, deli's and fast food places, buy food and drink and proceed to dump their trash on the streets and sidewalks in our neighborhoods. I have had to chase them off my front porch several times as they were smoking weed. The city should keep them in school for lunch unless they can find another way to stop them from trashing our neighborhoods.

Jimmy, maybe you should send an email to Fulop and voice your concerns Maybe he has some ideas...let us know.

Posted on: 2009/5/22 20:40
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