You may have noticed the large “REDUCE” letters displayed in front of the Malden DPW. This initiative was the result of Naomi Kahn of Malden Arts reaching out to Demi Dubois of Keep Melrose Beautiful, who then contacted Melrose resident and artist Jack Welch, who created the 3D letters for several Melrose projects, including Melrose Earth Week 2021. The collaboration continued as Naomi worked with Friends of the Malden River Cofounder/President Karen Buck to install the “REDUCE” letters in front of the DPW yard on Commercial Street this summer. The 3D messaging system of letters encourages passersby to fill the letters with plastics and litter collected from the roadway and sidewalks. By displaying these large-scale visual messages in public places, the hope is to encourage people to reduce their purchases of single use plastic bottles to keep our cities, streets and waterways clean.
“The community enjoys being involved with clean-ups. Now we can visualize the waste by filling the REDUCE letters with plastic bottles and other recyclables. During cleanups, we see how the street litter lands up in the Malden River,” said Buck.
Several cleanups have been organized around the city including at the YMCA, and Post Office parking to fill the letters at the Malden DPW.
“I’m grateful to Naomi Kahn and Karen Buck for implementing this creative way of reducing trash on our streets,” said Mayor Gary Christenson. “This will make my job a lot easier!”
Sponsors of the project in Malden include the Mayor’s Office, the DPW, Malden Arts and Friends of the Malden River.