Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Invasion of the Dumpster Snatchers!

Something's been happening in Belltown's alley. Something...sinister. Here's what the Blanchard alley (between 1st & 2nd) looked like last summer or so when Google street view went through town:

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Here's looking in the opposite direction:

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Yeah, I know, typical ground-level urban terrain with dumpsters and assorted clutter. How terribly picturesque! It's just going to be like that forever, right? Wrong! Here's what it looks like these days:

Where did the dumpsters go?? All they can tell me is "away."

Actually, it's part of a new city initiative that isn't going over too well in certain parts of Belltown. So they've cleared the dumpsters out and left only the compost, recycle and biodiesel for businesses (those are still there), and a designated spot in every alley for peasants like us to toss our trash. You know what? I believe that the Rivoli is grandfathered into still having a dumpster, and why not? I mean this rickety old place is just one year away from the century mark. Give an elderly building a break, willya? So that means that peasants like YOU have to bag up and toss in the alley in an orderly fashion. Dumpster problem solved!! Not so fast. Here's the catch, though: you have to pay for your city-endorsed trash bag. They're around 15 bucks apiece. How do you like that?? Yeah, it sucks. If I were living in a non-dumpster-affiliated building, I'd just throw my trash out in the street, as much out of laziness and recalcitrance as out of economic protest.

I'm pretty sure this wasn't Seattle's original harebrained idea. It was probably spearheaded in someplace like Topeka where urban density isn't nearly what it is around here. I can see what the city is trying to do: clear out the alleys and thus give the neighborhood bums plenty of space where they can 1) lay down, 2) crap, 3) party like it's 1999, and, 4) if the need seizes them, expire. It also makes it easier for the cops to patrol alleys and for them to prevent the neighborhood bums from doing any and all of the above activities.

So stack your super-expensive garbage bags wherever you see the ClearAlleys (yeah, just one word; how catchy!) sign. Form a line. No pushing. And forget about the dumpsters that used to be.


Jim said...

I know for a fact that there are certain people in our city government who believe that the elimination of garbage containers will lead to less garbage. Anyone who has ever lived in Belltown or a similarly dense urban area will tell you that this is pure folly. Garbage will end up instead where it is far more difficult to collect, if it gets collected at all.

Igor Keller said...

It already is! It's all over the alley!