If you stroll down Rock Island, Mead or Santa Fe streets in Old Town, you’ll probably see some Dumpsters overflowing with trash or oozing with grease. The city and some property owners who have complained think that’s a problem for downtown’s nightlife and condo district. In a recent survey of Old Town business and property owners, city officials prefaced their questions by saying they’re concerned that the waste could be a health hazard and that the runoff could create environmental problems.
“We are concerned about several things pertaining, but not limited to, the disposal of organic material that is a potential health hazard; storm water runoff from open and exposed trash and grease containers, and improper pressure washing practices that contribute to water contamination; overflow of trash receptacles and dumpster; dumpsters and grease carts that are safety hazards for those driving through the district; trash dumpsters that are in undesirable locations; damage to streets done by many heavy trucks moving throughout the area, and the aesthetics of the overall district,” the survey reads.The survey results, however, showed that most of the 63 people who responded to the survey thought the cleanliness of Old Town was adequate (63 percent) or good (28 percent). That bodes well for Waste Connections and Waste Management, which haul most of the trash for the surveyed property owners. Old Town property owners will discuss cleanliness at a meeting Tuesday morning.
“Cleanliness levels affect the safety, well-being, and attraction of visitors, residents, and business owners in the district. We are going to address these concerns before it gets to an undesirable point,” the survey letter reads. “We hope to identify alternatives that reduce cost, improve cleanliness, enhance attractiveness and minimize problems related to waste collection. (The Old Town Association) is currently working on a landscape improvement plan for the area that may include trash containment areas.”Another noteworthy finding in the survey: “18.57 percent of respondents have recycling,” the results read. “Out of those that do not, 43 percent would like to have it.”