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$4,000 for a trash can? Boston Parks and Recreation reduces lofty estimate for city park

Replacing trash cans in East Boston park could cost $4,000 - per barrel
Replacing trash cans in East Boston park could cost $4,000 - per barrel 02:19

EAST BOSTON - A man was trying to fix up an East Boston park. He said the city tried to charge him $4,000 for a new trash can.

"Right now, we have 50 gallon drums that look a little trashy, no pun intended. Well, actually, maybe pun intended," said Andrew Pike, a former board member for the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association.

East Boston park needs 4 new trash cans

Pike was looking to replace the four barrels that sit at each corner of Brophy Park. The current trash bins have no tops, so animals can get inside and people can dump their household trash in them. A year ago, Pike began advocating for a change and a plan to fundraise.

"In my head, I am thinking maybe $1,000 a piece," for each new barrel Pike told WBZ-TV.

A trash can in Brophy Park in East Boston. CBS Boston

$4,000 for one trash can

He reached out to Boston's Parks and Recreation Department. For a year, he waited for a price estimate. He showed WBZ a chain of emails he had with and the city. Recently, he got an estimate on the cost of a new barrel.

"I was told it was $4,000 per barrel, and, if I remember correctly from the email, that doesn't even include the installation of the barrel, that's just with the shipping," said Pike.

The renderings he was sent look much like the metal barrels at a nearby park. They have no solar equipment or high-tech parts.

A trash can in a Boston park similar to one estimated to cost $4,000. CBS Boston

Pike said he wasn't going to be able to raise $16,000 for four new trash cans.  

"It makes you wonder how much they are spending on everything in the whole city," Pike told WBZ.

2 new trash cans at $1,500 each  

The city has decided to go in a new direction since receiving the lofty estimate. The Parks Department is cutting back on some of their add-ons to the design. Brophy Park will now get two new trash cans at $1,500 each.

"We don't need a fancy trash can. We just need nicer trash cans than we have right now," said Pike.

Pike found similar ones on amazon for $773, but the Parks Department says due to the size of liners and the equipment used to empty them, all barrels must meet city specifications.

"I am thankful that the city of Boston was able to get two of them for our park. We do need four," said Pike. The neighborhood is now deciding if it can raise enough money to buy two more trash cans.

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