It was typical neighborhood summer scene at Orient Heights Housing Development (OHHD) on Sunday. Residents there took to the courtyards where there was barbecuing, children playing and the smell of home cooked meals simmering as the adults took refuge from the hot summer sun under the shade of trees.
But there was another smell in the air as one made their way up Faywood Avenue—it was the smell of garbage baking in the sweltering heat.
The dumpster that is used by resident living at the OHHD was overflowing with trash bags and garbage and the stench could be picked up a half a block away. Around the dumpster buzzed flies and bees and above were the open windows of residents that had little choice between trying to catch a cool ocean breeze and smelling the foul refuse.
“It’s like this all the time,” said one resident who was sitting on a lawn chair a few yards from the dumpster. “Everyone here calls and complains to the Boston Housing Authority but they don’t do anything.”
The gentleman said that this particular dumpster had been overflowing since last Monday.
“We even tell the manager that we need this trash removed more than once a week,” he said.
According to the resident the trash removal company contracted by the BHA empties the dumpster only once a week but it quickly fills up because it is the dumpster used by most residents.
While there are other dumpsters on the OHHD grounds that were less filled, many residents living at the other end of Faywood would have to haul their trash more than one block to dispose of it.
“They need to do something,” said the resident pointing to a group of children playing near the unsightly trash heap.
According to the Mayor’s Liaison, Ernani DeAraujo, the dumpster has been a point of contention for some time and the subject of several Orient Heights Neighborhood Association meetings. Neighbors to the OHHD have complained for months of the unsanitary conditions and aired concerns that the trash might attract rodents and other health issues for residents both inside and outside the development.
City Councilor Sal LaMattina said he was disappointed when he drove by the dumpster the other day because he feels the OHHD staff does a good job keeping the development clean.
Both LaMattina and DeAraujo said they contacted the BHA and are awaiting answers to how the Authority plans to address the longstanding problem.