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Paramount747

Nashville Trash Problem

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Something we rarely discuss here in regards to the built environment. On both sides of the river bank, and around the bridges, there is a horrible trash collection problem. After calls to public works, still none of it has been cleaned up. When is the mayor going to start with the riverfront again? This is quite a problem  that effects the entire city, but the trash along the river and the CBD is alarming.

 

There is no reason we should not have a mile long walkway on both sides of the river for everyone to enjoy without trash and debris. Many parts of the riverbank are simply eroding into the river. Nashville is one of the few cities where one cannot take an evening stroll along the river. 

 

I can imaging walking along the bank, buying coffee or ice cream from a vendor and just sit and enjoy the water.  I don't know why for the past 100+ years the city has neglected the river. Its a shame.

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It's not just Nashville. There's a number of cities that haven't done much/ been able to do much with their river fronts. Keep in mind that most were actually used for something other than pleasure up until the 60's or so. Some are still heavily used. 

 

As far as the trash problem, I've always felt that Nashville was fairly clean. 

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There is no reason we should not have a mile long walkway on both sides of the river for everyone to enjoy without trash and debris. Many parts of the riverbank are simply eroding into the river. Nashville is one of the few cities where one cannot take an evening stroll along the river.

Well, not a mile, but this is what is being created now with the current east and west bank projects, plus the future phases in the riverfront master plan. Agree with you about the trash problem. I've notice it, too. Not surprising given that for decades Nashville's riverfront has been primarily industrial and occupied from time to time by our homeless citizens. The trash is worse in some places than others. The greenway that runs up to MetroCenter is relatively clean.

If you look at them, the Cumberland River banks are pretty wild places - the banks are steep and thick with growth. There is almost no way for public works crews to access the banks to pick up the trash. Where the new recreational facilties are being constructed, I expect the riverfront will be kept clean.

Edited by CenterHill

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I have a suggestion for you John. Be part of the solution and organize a river clean up day. Get help with the non profit groups such as the Sierra club, the Cumberland river assoc. or compact whatever they call it. Also public works along with Scouts, business's in the downtown area. The list can go on and on. You will be shocked how much trash flows in with the current. I would bet if you did one side of the river for a mile or two, then there will be several tons of trash.

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I have a suggestion for you John. Be part of the solution and organize a river clean up day. Get help with the non profit groups such as the Sierra club, the Cumberland river assoc. or compact whatever they call it. Also public works along with Scouts, business's in the downtown area. The list can go on and on. You will be shocked how much trash flows in with the current. I would bet if you did one side of the river for a mile or two, then there will be several tons of trash.

Agree with Ron.  The Mayor's office has a Beautification Commission with a volunteer citizen commissioner for most council districts.  Those commissioners are very helpful to our neighborhood groups who organize trash clean-ups.  In fact, Nashville competes with other cities across the country for Keep American Beautiful month, which actually lasts three months, from March - May.  At last night's council meeting, the 30-minute announcement session prior to the formal meeting start time saw the various council members listing numerous clean up efforts every weekend in April and May and requesting citizens to come help clean up noted problem areas.

 

Unlike some municipalities who fund their public works departments through taxes, Metro's Public Works department does not have staff to pick up garbage anywhere.  That's why Metro's public right-of-way grass is cut by "volunteers" who are serving community service time with the Sheriff's Department.  Hint, hint.  You can work with your Council District 5 Beautification Commissioner to request a particular riverbed area clean-up day using this "volunteer" labor but you have to get on their schedule. 

 

As with so many things in Nashville, almost everything that gets done in this city takes place because of citizen action and volunteerism.  As someone who takes part in those initiatives, it is inspiring but also exhausting.  It is inspiring because there are so many church groups, school groups, and neighborhood groups that find something in common and work together to get it done to the benefit of all.  But it is exhausting because there is no end to it!

 

I pick up garbage on my street and surrounding blocks every Sunday afternoon.  There is a gentleman who picks up garbage in the Five Points area near 11th/Fatherland every day.  That's hard core.  I see him out there every single day at 7:30 or so when I am driving to work.  That's dedication.

 

By the way, there is a call for volunteers on Saturday, April 12th to install a rain garden in South Inglewood Park just off of Cahal Ave.  This is in conjunction with the Cumberland River Compact.

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Another opportunity for beautification are the medians and exit ramps from the interstates downtown, ours are absolutely horrible.  Other cities seem to have landscapped areas, especially in the downtown areas that are so visible.  There is a median on interstate 40 in the downtown area near  Frugal MacDougals that could be landscapped and simply help with the overall look.  Is it possible to allow a landscaping company to do the work and place a sign that they sponsored the look?  Might help with costs.  The Hillsboro Rd exit off 440 is another area that could be landscapped that now looks terrible.  How can other cities do this so well and Nashville so badly?

Edited by GreenHillsBoy
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Let's have some action John. A great way to volunteer.

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Another opportunity for beautification are the medians and exit ramps from the interstates downtown, ours are absolutely horrible.  Other cities seem to have landscapped areas, especially in the downtown areas that are so visible.  There is a median on interstate 40 in the downtown area near  Frugal MacDougals that could be landscapped and simply help with the overall look.  Is it possible to allow a landscaping company to do the work and place a sign that they sponsored the look?  Might help with costs.  The Hillsboro Rd exit off 440 is another area that could be landscapped that now looks terrible.  How can other cities do this so well and Nashville so badly?

 

I think part of it is cultural...they simply care more and don't mind paying for it. I guarantee you somebody here in Nashville will throw a Beaman-tantrum if we appropriate tax dollars to such a project, even as necessary and beneficial as we think it might be.

Edited by Vrtigo
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I feel like I am being attacked and admonished here! You make it sound like it's my fault we have trash! I have volunteered more hours picking up trash in this  city than most people. My wife was the Chairwoman for District 35 for Metro Beautification for almost a decade. We published a daily blog called www.Planettrash.wordpress.com. 

 

It did no good. Now for you guys saying I need to do such in such, why don't we one Saturday instead of drinking coffee in a cozy coffee shop discussing things we absolutely have no control of, do something then and pick up trash? Don't suggest I become part of the solution and suggest it is a great way for me to volunteer when I have done it for decades. I was just making the point that around the river and the city infrastructure, there is a major trash problem that metro does not address. I don't need the speeches and the sarcastic attitude.

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Another opportunity for beautification are the medians and exit ramps from the interstates downtown, ours are absolutely horrible.  Other cities seem to have landscapped areas, especially in the downtown areas that are so visible.  There is a median on interstate 40 in the downtown area near  Frugal MacDougals that could be landscapped and simply help with the overall look.  Is it possible to allow a landscaping company to do the work and place a sign that they sponsored the look?  Might help with costs.  The Hillsboro Rd exit off 440 is another area that could be landscapped that now looks terrible.  How can other cities do this so well and Nashville so badly?

 

I agree, Nashville has a trash/litter problem. Not just on the interstates and riverbank, but in the neighborhoods. Metro needs to dedicate funding for trash pickup. Volunteers can only do so much. MTA bus stops are the worst offenders. I have called MTA and Metro numerous times about putting trash bins at their high profile and high traffic bus stops. I even had to pick trash up that was blowing in the street and sidewalk and take it to a dumpster.  The MTA bus stops at Jefferson St and Rosa Parks (in front of the BP and the Advanced financial) do not have trash cans. I called about the one in from of Rite Aid and they eventually placed on their. Then there are the ones they have in place at the stops, that they do not empty on a regular basis....( the 3 bins in front of Rivergate mall on Gallatin Pk that are always overflowing)

 

I can count numerous MTA bus stops on Gallatin Road and others that have benches but no trash bins. MTA should have a policy that if they are going to put a bench at a stop, then they should put a trash bin.

 

As far as landscaped exit and on ramps, Atlanta comes to mind as an example of nicely landscaped interstates. Even Brentwood and Coolsprings have nice landscaped exit and off ramps. Why can't we have throughout the Metro area.

 

Plastic Bags are a big part of this problem. We should do like Austin did and ban plastic bags in the city. This would definitely help with the litter problem. It would take a cultural change, but it can be done. Stores are already pushing reusable bags anyway.

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I feel like I am being attacked and admonished here! You make it sound like it's my fault we have trash! I have volunteered more hours picking up trash in this  city than most people. My wife was the Chairwoman for District 35 for Metro Beautification for almost a decade. We published a daily blog called www.Planettrash.wordpress.com. 

 

It did no good. Now for you guys saying I need to do such in such, why don't we one Saturday instead of drinking coffee in a cozy coffee shop discussing things we absolutely have no control of, do something then and pick up trash? Don't suggest I become part of the solution and suggest it is a great way for me to volunteer when I have done it for decades. I was just making the point that around the river and the city infrastructure, there is a major trash problem that metro does not address. I don't need the speeches and the sarcastic attitude.

Again, John, you are over reacting. No one is picking on you. It is simply a suggestion. There are other alternatives to complaining about an issue. All of us have to come up with solutions. That was only a suggestion. We do in effect have control as a group of citizens. It is easy if you have a group effort. We have to start somewhere. I am with you about picking up trash on a Saturday. I don't think anyone, including myself was being sarcastic. I was dead serious.

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Public Works/Metro Beautification does have a program for bus stop garbage cans.  They offer "free" sponsorships of the garbage cans at the bus stops.  What that means is that if a business or social group will "adopt" a bus stop, MTA will put a garbage can there and the business/group gets their name on a small sign that is affixed to the bus stop.  That is free advertising, and your business/social group is then asked to help pick up whatever garbage does not quite make it into the can.  It's a small start.  But I do wish that there were organized garbage cans at every bus stop that public works would pick up when they do their regular runs on those streets.

I agree, Nashville has a trash/litter problem. Not just on the interstates and riverbank, but in the neighborhoods. Metro needs to dedicate funding for trash pickup. Volunteers can only do so much. MTA bus stops are the worst offenders. I have called MTA and Metro numerous times about putting trash bins at their high profile and high traffic bus stops. I even had to pick trash up that was blowing in the street and sidewalk and take it to a dumpster.  The MTA bus stops at Jefferson St and Rosa Parks (in front of the BP and the Advanced financial) do not have trash cans. I called about the one in from of Rite Aid and they eventually placed on their. Then there are the ones they have in place at the stops, that they do not empty on a regular basis....( the 3 bins in front of Rivergate mall on Gallatin Pk that are always overflowing)

 

I can count numerous MTA bus stops on Gallatin Road and others that have benches but no trash bins. MTA should have a policy that if they are going to put a bench at a stop, then they should put a trash bin.

 

 

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My understanding is that landscaping medians and exit/off ramps in Nashville is quite involved.  In East Nashville, Rediscover East worked with TDOT to allow planting of trees in the I-24 Shelby exit ramps and also the ones near the Woodland Street overpass.  But it took a lot of coordination, and citizens are not allowed to work on those state lands due to safety concerns.  So Rediscover East led a fundraising drive for people to purchase the trees, and then TDOT arranged the labor (possible "community service labor") to install the trees.   The big question is who is going to water the trees for the first three years of their lives as recommended.  Since citizens can get out there, who will?

 

This is a great recommendation that has worked in very limited ways in Nashville all due to the immense amount of organizing to do and state bureaucracy to overcome.  Carol Norton is our go-to person in East Nashville because she has done so much of both for a few decades now.

Another opportunity for beautification are the medians and exit ramps from the interstates downtown, ours are absolutely horrible.  Other cities seem to have landscapped areas, especially in the downtown areas that are so visible.  There is a median on interstate 40 in the downtown area near  Frugal MacDougals that could be landscapped and simply help with the overall look.  Is it possible to allow a landscaping company to do the work and place a sign that they sponsored the look?  Might help with costs.  The Hillsboro Rd exit off 440 is another area that could be landscapped that now looks terrible.  How can other cities do this so well and Nashville so badly?

Edited by bwithers1

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