Molok trash system

Molok Mayhem

In Buzz, October 2019by Raleigh Magazine

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Something stinks about this Raleigh story that just won’t go away. Moloks—the underground trash receptacles installed, and then swiftly uninstalled, at the intersection of Hargett and S. Wilmington Streets after folks from the nearby Mechanics and Farmers Bank reportedly complained to city managers about their smell—cost $30,000 and were supposed to make Raleigh seem cutting edge. Raleigh was the first city in the country to install the underground trash collection system, but apparently, City officials never consulted with the bank beforehand, as it did with other businesses located nearby. As staffers work to identify potential new sites for the Moloks, John Pugh, noted Molok fan and owner of the Hargett Street-based T-shirt company House of Swank Clothing, tweeted a screenshot of a message from a communications staffer stating that there are 15,000 emails relating to the controversy after Pugh had sought correspondence as part of a public record request. 15,000 emails! Then, Pugh tweeted a photo of the Moloks that appears to show them junked with the caption “Dear @RaleighGov, when I was told by multiple city council members that the #MOLOK bins were just being relocated, I assumed they meant somewhere other than the landfill. Given that they’ve now been ripped in two, am I mistaken? Please advise.” That piqued our curiosity so we asked the question ourselves. Julia Milstead, a public information officer with the City, wrote in an email that “the embedded bins themselves were damaged during the removal process and cannot be re-used.” Oops. But “the lids, liners, support rings, surrounds, and even artwork were all successfully salvaged and will be used at new locations.” Good news but, as we saw with the Gotcha scooters, if we want nice things in Raleigh, we usually have to wait a while.

Photo from John Pugh's tweet concerning the Molok trash bins in  the landfill

Photo from John Pugh’s tweet concerning the Molok trash bins in the landfill

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