Mixed message

This new trash receptacle says “recycle,” but has a plastic liner (and is filled with regular trash).

Recycle? Or not? New trash cans on Mass. Ave.

Recycle? Or not? New trash can at Mass. Ave. and Trowbridge St.

I’ve seen this on at least some of the other new trash cans that have been installed recently as part of the Mass. Ave. project in East Arlington.

So, what are people supposed to do here? There are no other trash receptacles nearby, and the plastic liner (a no-no for household recycling) suggests non-recyclables, so it’s no surprise that people are putting regular trash in these.

And it’s nice to have a place for all the garbage.

The design of the new cans, featuring ribbons of metal arrayed in a cylinder, is echoed by that for the new benches.

It’s a sleek modern look that contrasts with the neo-Victorian theme of the pedestrian-scale lighting and walk signals.

A lot of this sort of street furniture has been installed recently, and people are using it.

A woman enjoys some refreshment from Que Brada on a new bench facing the Capitol Theater block on July 27.

A woman enjoys some refreshment from Quebrada on a new bench facing the Capitol Theater block on July 27.

Day and night, you will find people sitting on the new benches. A woman with her dog; a man hanging out; a couple talking. It makes the street feel populated.

The benches have been installed facing shops (with backs near the street), facing the street (with backs near the shops), and sideways.

Note also the recent plantings in the planter box with edges that are not raised at right in the photo above. Update: And note that the plantings are provided by shop owners.

Click here for recent construction news.

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2 comments so far

  1. Jan Whitted on

    Hi Adam,

    Just a note about the plantings. They’ve been done by shop owners, as the official landscaping won’t happen until next spring. Some planters have become garbage dumps and ashtrays, and some are simply given over to weeds.

    Great observation about the design of street furnishings – no consistency. I’m hoping in the future we can relocate some of the benches to elsewhere and replace them with benches that could be artfully painted. In any event, I would hate to think the new benches will end up like this one (see attached) further up Mass Ave, approaching the Center.

    • Adam Auster on

      Thanks Jan, I really should have guessed that! and have corrected my report above.


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