The Near Westside, Syracuse, NY - Today the Westside Residents Coalition and The Alchemical Nursery opened the 2015 Adopt-A-Trashcan season at 610 Gifford Street - a Greater Syracuse Land Bank property that the groups are converting into a community garden. 7 cans were distributed to participants at locations such as Otisco Street, Holland Ave, Slocum House (The Catholic Workers’ residence) on Slocum Ave, Shonnard Street on behalf of Shonnard Street Outlook, and the Spa at 500 on West Onondaga Ave. These joined 12 cans that were placed out last year from Marcellus to Fitch streets, and from South Geddes to Gifford St in the Mission District. There are a few cans remaining for anyone interested (Please contact Frank Cetera for City Council or the Westside Residents Coalition).
“When I placed a trashcan in front of my home at 717 Otisco St in 2011 for passers-by to use, I never imagined at that time it would blossom into a community-wide effort. But this goes to show that even the smallest and simplest initiatives by an individual person can blossom into fruition when you work together”, Said Cetera, one of the project founders and 2nd District City Council Candidate with the Green Party.
“Safe streets begin with streets that are clean and walkable. With financial assistance from the Syracuse Parks Conservancy, we were able to purchase 30 trashcans in 2014, and this has allowed us to keep a significant amount of garbage off of our neighborhood streets”. Said Susan HAmilton, NWS Resident on Holland St and WestSide Residents Coalition Co-Chair.
The program works through adopters who agree to maintain the cans, place them in a prominent position in front of their homes and next to the sidewalk, then place them on the curb along with their household bins on trash night for emptying the next morning. The cans are identified with spray-painted stencils of the Alchemical Nursery and Westside Residents Coalition logos, as well as the text “Trash It, We Care”.
“This is only the start”, said Cetera. “Next on the to-do list includes helping the WRC with its syringe litter campaign, tackling the issues of dog waste in our neighborhoods, dealing with the condition of our sidewalks including snow removal in the winter, and working to install speed humps to calm traffic and create safe spaces for our children and those commuting by bicycle to work, to shop, or to see friends and family.”