By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
And she wants to bring it to Red Bank.
The third-term councilwoman, ripping a page from a two-year-old New York Times article on Dumpsters that were converted to public pools in Brooklyn, suggested to her counterparts on the dais that Red Bank, after the general pant-and-gasp brought on by last week’s heatwave, think outside the box by going inside the box.
“I do think it’s something everyone should look at at,” Lee said. “It’s just another way to utilize something that might otherwise be wasted.”
The idea is fairly simple: take a clean Dumpster, install a liner, fill it with water and open it up to the public. Rinse and repeat.
In Brooklyn, the bins have been set up in streets and secret spots for parties, the Times reported.
It worked in there, Lee said, and it could work here.
‘When I think of those 100-degree days and no respite,” she said, “this is another thing to consider.”
Across the river, Lee says Dumpsters that are water-ready, from New York company Macro-Sea, are being auctioned off. And while she doesn’t hold any illusions that Red Bank might be in serious bidding for the bins or their platforms and related equipment the idea is certainly one to consider. After all, Dumpsters are everywhere, and so are dip-deprived people.
It would come, of course, with drawbacks. A lifeguard would have to be stationed at each makeshift pool, Administrator Stanley Sickels said, and the pools would have to be covered by liability insurance. There also may be state Department of Environmental Protection rules for water testing, he said.
Lee raised the idea, along with others opening up a fire hydrant for a quick blast of cool water, for one after watching residents wilt and run for air-conditioned breaks from the oppressive heat last week.
Her colleagues on the governing body did not laugh Lee out of the council chambers.
“We’ll look at it,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said.
As for Lee’s idea of wrenching open hydrants for a spurt of relief, “that’s something we can definitely look into,” Sickels said.
Menna said despite the intense temps, the borough and its emergency service crews received a small number of calls related to heat stress. Sickels said firehouses were opened for residents to take a break and cool off as well.