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June 29, 2006



another no name editorial

That's okay. Everyone's comments are welcomed, right?

There is quite some truth in the above statement. One of the worst areas is around the (railroad) track, where used food containers and other industrial trash blows around. I believe Caltrain is the landlord of that area, but they don't tend to it at all. Can't our city insist that Caltrain's right of way be cleaned up on a regular basis? Parts look as bad as the shoulders on 101.

But it is also fair to say that we've raised at least one generation of slobs. How many of you have seen 20-30 somethings dumping trash out of their clean cars? It's disgusting.

Yesterday on Broadway, a group of teens very casually dropped their Subway garbage right on the sidewalk, then jumped in their car and drove away. I stopped in the loading zone next to the market for about 30 seconds, picked up the garbage and as I was throwing it away, I got a ticket for "parking" in the loading zone.

As for the posting, I don't think a new blogger knows to sign their name if it's a first post - it's a little quirk on this blog - that your name, real or annonymouse doesn't show on the first post.

Regardless, I agree that the trash is out of control, and I don't mean the garbage.

Jean - thank you so much for picking up that trash and I'm sorry you got a ticket.
When I was a teen - many years ago, it was considered VERY uncool to litter. What happened? Parents should teach their kids that it is wrong to litter - period. It's a sure sign that something is sick in our society.


There are so many over-flowing trash cans in downtown Burlingame. I wonder how many times a week trash gets picked up. We have attrached so many many people to our downtown area that perhaps we need more trash cans and trash pick-ups.

I asked the manager of Blockbuster, a very nice woman, what happened to their trash can outside their store and she said it was removed because people were putting their person trash bags in the cans and the trash bin was overlowing every day. I have observed many times employees from some of the small stores in town walking out to the city trash cans and stuffing them with trash.

Jen, since I work downtown, I see lots of people dumping trash from their cars. It's amazing how much they unload! Maybe they can't afford to pay their BFI invoice after they make the BMW payment.

I agree with who ever posted this new thread. Trash in our town has become a very big problem.


The posting sure strikes a note with me as I am routinely out in front of the shop here on the 1100 block of Broadway. Most mornings I sweep from in front of Aji Yoshi Ya to Sutterfield's.

I wonder, sometimes, if the city's street sweeper actually has been around to clean the street. The design of the sidewalk looks good on paper, but with the bulb-outs for the trees, the sweeper often simply pushes some of the debris ahead of the machine and leaves it in place once the driver steers left to go around the bulb out.

Having grown up in town, I can tell you that many years ago the shop-keepers would routinely sweep down their sidewalks in the morning and again at night to allow the debris to be collected in the early morning hours by the sweeper.

Today, I don't think many business owners even set foot out on the sidewalk in front of their stores.

The Broadway BID group, by the way, actually PAYS a local fellow to come with his broom on Saturday evenings and sweep the street. The guy does a magnificent job and this contributes to "the greater good." Of course, without our BID group, this would not happen and I don't think the business owners around Broadway would compensate for not having a sweeper come by.

Shops such as Preston's ought to consider hiring a company to routinely clean the block. It's a bit of a shame they don't clean up the debris at night, though they do unchain and take in the two benches from in front of their store. (These were stolen a year or two ago, despite being chained/locked.)

The City should require businesses such as ice cream and take-out food places to do a better job of policing their areas, not simply a few feet on either side of their entrance or storefront. This is a bigger problem today than it was years ago because in our streetscape, we have these giant bulb-outs on the corners where people are (basically) invited to lounge. There is usually a trash receptacle close by, but most people seem to mistake the nearby flowers, plants or planters as the best place to deposit garbage and debris.

It would be a nice idea, too, if the trash receptacles were routinely hosed down (inside and out). These tend to generate quite an, uh, aroma during the warm summer months.

Some towns actually have "trash bins" to siphon off recyclables such as soda bottles and cans. It's curious that the residents are required to recycle these items, but in the local business districts, we don't have but a simple trash bin where everything is "garbage."

I'm not sure Burlingame yet qualifies for the "city of litter" designation.

I asked a "waste systems engineer" (garbage truck driver/collector) how things are and he told me "business is picking up."

On the issue of past generations of merchants routinely cleaning the streets themselves, I recall that in Europe, the merchants still sweep up, and often even wet down the areas in front of their stores. Granted, this may be because of dog poop or people urinating near the bars and alleys, but the latter problem is also a problem here. Just seeing the streets being cleaned by the locals gives relays a strong message that these people care about their town's appearance. Here there is a disconnect between the store space and the sidewalk/public space. Also common in Europe are the recycle type of trash bins, some of which are very sleek and attractive.

i am surprized by the lack of garbge cans.
I believe that cities in the bay area require business' to have a GB in front of stores that generate debris.
I am sorry to say that I discard recipts in the sreet when leaving "Block Buster", because there are no garbge cans on the entire street.
Burlingame Ave. to Howard.
Who needs recipts any way?

You are right about people living in rentals.
We have recently evicted a tenant in our building that had 6 adults and 2 children in a 2 bederoom/1 bath. Now we have to stipulate in rental contracts minieuta.
I wish the city/us, would do more to take care of the blighted areas of Burlingame.
The more our community addresses the places in town that would really benifit from TREES!(Rollins Rd.) the sooner everybody benefits.
Also, property owners need to be held accountable for the debris left at apartments being vacated.
Take a ride down Rollins Rd. this next few days. Our taxes pay for that mess. Many times I have seen Public Works picking up couches,toys,etc.


I can only assume your post is meant to generate comments. So here's one:

I don't know anyone who would admitt to what you've posted, even if they really do it! Since you are anonymouse, say what you wish.

I suggest: pockets/car/stomach/wallet/handbag/walk a block/ask store manager/store it in your cap, as an alternative to throwing stuff in the street.

I believe I saw your fan club disrespecting Broadway in the same manner.

San Francisco is in the process of passing a stipulation that all garbage cans/recycling containers are brought in off the curb within 24 hours of trash pick up or face $100 fine, increasing with multiple infractions.

El Camino Real is littered with debris 7 days a week, like Rollins.

I agree with you on this one, AZ.

I am working on a plan that will enlist the help of the San Mateo County Sherriff's work furlough program along with city staff to help mitigate this problem--at least in part. The program will use non- violent offenders who have been required by the courts to perform communitty service.They will help clean our parking lots and their work may also include other tasks. This program will begin as a pilot program shortly and it's success will be measured and evaluated.

Russ Cohen
Bulringame City Council

To tucsonaz:
You said:
"I am sorry to say that I discard receipts in the sreet when leaving "Block Buster", because there are no garbge cans on the entire street.
Burlingame Ave. to Howard.
Who needs recipts any way?"
You gotta be kidding!!!! How lazy of you!!! Try keeping the receipt in your pocket until you get home. You set an example for others every time you discard anything on the street. Please stop this disgusting habit and put your reciept in your pocket until you find a trash can - Better yet, use Netflix!


Safeway parking lot needs trash cans....that would help.

The Safeway parking lot has trash cans, I use them every time I go there to throw a piece of trash away that I've picked up off the ground - what it needs are managers that will send employees out to tidy up - it's as simple as that! If there were more trash cans would people use them? I doubt it - if there's nowhere to put your trash, for god's sake keep it until you find a place - what about this concept is so difficult for people to understand?!?!?!?!

I think the point people are making is that there are simple solutions to some of the problems encountered in Burlingame.
Speaking of lack of garbage cans, Mollie Stones.

And how about derelict autos parked in front of houses east of the railroad tracks? And boats, RVs, etc. parked either on the street or in driveways? It's starting to look a lot like San Leandro down there roughly between the tracks and Rollins Road. PU. This wouldn't be allowed in other neighborhoods. Where is the city council when we need it?

From my experience, the council members always return inquiries.
All of them reply.
Where you take it from there is up to you.
They have a life like all of us. I believe it is just a "part time job".
So follow up.
Otherwise, be there, do something besides whining.
No insult intended..

It's not about more garbage cans, it's about pride and responsibility. If a store (Safeway, Mollies, Blockbuster) doesn't provide a restroom, what do you do? Do you deposit in the street or hold on until there is an appropriate depository? Why is trash/receipts any different? I know this is a gross exaggeration, but why do we need a city council to govern basic humanities when we can very well self govern on issues of pride and responsibility?

In Venice, there are hardly any trash cans. I only saw two tiny ones in the entire city, probably because trash removal is an ordeal. However, the streets and canals appear very pristine. People keep their garbage with them until they are home. I do agree with Jean; it's a pride issue. Somehow people around here seem to lack that pride and feel fine dumping their garbage wherever. Maybe we need those old "don't be a litterbug" ads that I grew up with.


I totally agree with Jean and Jen - it is a matter of pride and personal responsibility - and yes, perhaps we need a 21st century version of that tearful Native American; heartbroken over the sight of garbage and trash on the side of the road - it made quite an impact back then! I, for one, try to pick up at least one piece of "non-hazardous" litter everyday - it can only help a tiny bit but if everyone did this it would really help! By the way, if it matters, it was I who posted the original comment, "Burlingame: City of Trees - City of LITTER!"

Getting back to "The City of Trees"...
I saw a public works crew removing a 100+ year old Oak tree at Vancover/Easton.
I know for fact that there are at least @14 dead trees in that upper area of Hillside/Easton. Look at the trees in front of and around OLA.
Why are these trees dying. It must take a bit of time, 2-5 years?
They might have been replaced already.
I do not think the majority of homeowners are aware that these trees are "City" maintained.
What is going on in Public Works?


Public Works Department nothing is going on. Nothing is being done.

Sorry about the whining.


The kind citizens of Burlingame are often asked to pick up (excuse the pun) where our City does not have the funds, staff, impetus or other political excuse du jour. Perhaps it is time for those of us who pick up trash as we wend our way through Burlingame to go one step further and organize a City Clean Up Day? Its a small gesture but a practical one.

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