Community Health & Environment

Sunday Morning Trash Piles (& Park Addendum at Night)

Multiple residents contacted us about how trashy the neighborhood was on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. A neighbor sends in these photos from the sidewalk in front of 11 Sheafe Street on Saturday night. Other large piles were seen in front of the library on Parmenter Street.


Sunday night trash addition below from the other side of the ‘hood:

I wanted to share these pictures with you that I took in Christopher Columbus park at 7:00 pm Sunday night. Every single trash can in the park was overflowing. I called the Mayor ‘s hotline to report this – so hopefully they will send someone out – but this shouldn’t be happening. We need the Parks department at Christopher Columbus every day dumping the trash – especially on the weekend and especially during this very very busy tourist season. It’s embarrassing having our beautiful park trashed like this. We are so lucky to have our park and so many people help take care of it and make it beautiful – we just need some extra help from the city to come pickup the trash from the cans every day – especially in the very popular Christopher Columbus Park.
Concerned Park Lover


28 Replies to “Sunday Morning Trash Piles (& Park Addendum at Night)

  1. Don’t you think the constant articles about trash are getting a little old? Clearly there is a problem, but it seems a little lazy to post basically the same story over and over again. We get it.

    1. Sorry if you feel that stories about trash are “getting old” but I think trash being left out improperly on the wrong days to attract rats is getting old and the more neighbors we can inspire to report the culprits and the landlords who are ultimately responsible for their tenants the sooner we have a cleaner neighborhood.

      1. I concur with your opinion, Mr. Archer.

        I am part of a North End, Beacon Hill and Chinatown coalition that is seeking to arrive at a consensus that will hopefully result in a trash policy that allows trash to be left outside (for pick-up) for (far) fewer hours, compared to the current policy.

        Stay tuned.

        -David Marx-

        1. Unless serious enforcement also accompanies the new policy, there will likely be little to no changes in the trash situation. Hopefully that is part of the plan.

      2. I’m sorry but as a Property Manager and resident of the North End, I respect the rules, properly store my trash and put it out at the regulated times. As much as I educate my tenants, threaten them, fine them (on top of the City’s violations).. They don’t care. You cannot make people have compassion, common sense or respect. It’s disappointing but it’s not necessarily the landlord’s fault. Landlords are not their tenants’ parents.

    2. Sorry Resident~~the trash problem only gets old if you are doing the right thing and do not need to hear it any more !! I agree with that !! My stomach twists and turns whenever I see these offenders !!!

      We are trying to reach the culprits ~~~the continuous offenders !!!

      The City ” HAS TO” change their Pick-Up schedules for the North End ~~~~This is the ONLY WAY THINGS WILL CHANGE !!!! Punishing offenders DOESN’T WORK !!!

      This is really simple~~~Put out your trash 6 to 9 AM City PICKS-UP 9:00 AM !! “THAT’S IT !!!!!
      NOTHING ELSE WORKS !!!! How could anyone think that putting out trash for 16 hours is a good idea ????????? Rats Love it !! Not the Community !! I think I am going to start a petition and have everyone sign it~~~for 9:00 A.M. Pick-Up !!! Just Maybe ~~Together we Conquer ~~Divided we
      Fail !!!! ????

      1. The issue is that commercial trash is left out overnight – and some people throw their stuff in that.

        Also, what do you do if someone puts their trash out the night before anyways? You say punishment doesn’t work, but it has to be part of the solution. People get away with what they are able to.

  2. I agree with Resident and Mr. Archer here. In the interest of finding a solution, I think there is a slight change that could be made to what is becoming a regular “There is a lot of trash in all the wrong places” story.
    Could you include a phone number for the city department tasked with handling this problem ( I imagine enforcement and park pickup are handled separately.) A hyperlinked e-mail, pre-populated with a message, would be spectacular. We really need to city to continue to hear from us on this issue, and any work that this well-read website could do to make it easier for citizens to report on the problem would be very helpful.

  3. The trashcans overflowing in Christopher Columbus Park on Sundays is an embarrassment to the whole city. Something has to be done.

    1. The trash cans do get cleaned at some point, the burned building on Commercial Wharf, its unsightliness and its state of disrepair is a greater embarrassment.

  4. I too find the garbage out on the wrong day discusting!!! (due to this, the rats are getting bigger and bigger) I tried one friday afternoon to call the City of Boston (1st the mayor’s hotline) which was useless (as usual) and they told me that they probably wouldnt get to my complaint before Monday (the trash gets picked up on Mondays). 2nd I tried calling Inspectional Services Department (ISD) again, useless! I got, press 1 for this department, press 2 for this department, etc and then all their lines are busy helping others…..I finally gave up after my cell phone died!
    The trash stayed at 5 defferent addresses on my street until pick up on Monday!!!!
    I’ve spoken to the landlords and the tenants. The landlords of these particular addresses are absentee and the tenants just dont care.
    I would like to know if you can publish the number for Code Enforcement or which ever department gives out tickets.
    Hopefully when there’s a new mayor (I love Menino) and new department heads, we will get this problem solved once and for all.
    The North End definately is in need of changes at City Hall! We need to be heard and not ignored!!!

    1. Yeah, it you are a tenant then when rats get to be a problem, you can move to a another neighborhood and filth that up.

      Maybe what is needed is a tenant tariff. This amounts to an additional tax on each tenant to be collected with each property tax bill. Landlords will be required to file as each tenant leaves or starts a new lease. This way the City can afford additional pickups and hauling. The can also correlate problems to properties. Failure to register carries a property lien.

      If transients are the problem, then we can make them part of the solution as I don’t think the landlords will eat the additional costs.

  5. I have 1 question please. Did 11 Sheafe Street (with proof of the above pictures) get tickets for improper trash??

    1. I’ll bet they DID NOT !!!!!!!

      I have been Fighting this same Fight for YEARS ! ! ! ! L A Z I N E S S !!!!! Not only new tenants are at fault !!

  6. i walked around on Sunday morning and it’s everywhere. Seems like I see this on every street. To get all the pictures uploaded would probably cause this site to run out of space and crash. Fines are useless because the people responsible don’t pay them or there’s the ever popular trick of just putting your trash in front of someone else’s place. That happens more often than you think (no tossed mail because they know they will get it back). For that you have to almost stand guard and catch them.

  7. As a former North Ender and a still frequent visitor because my heart will always be here it is painful to walk around the neighborhood today and to see the filth and garbage everywhere, A couple of weeks ago I posted that parts of the NE were starting to resemble Allston and I was handed a slew of thumbs down.Well I now live in Allston and witness these pigs [who of course claim to be “green” and have the save the seals, whales and the earth bumper stickers on their vehicles with the NY plates } throw mattresses, monitors, tvs and garbage and will not because of their sense of entitlement even put their trash in a compacter.The bars spill out at two AM and all hell breaks loose fights,people [both male and female] urinating,vomiting vandalizing property screaming, shooting off fireworks and just a complete lack of respect for anyone.I repeat parts of the NE are becoming Allston and would take back the old NE in a heartbeat I know its not all the newcomers but just like many of you that imply that all former or older residents were wiseguys or gangsters you are now saddled with the reputation as having no respect for this once proud neighborhood.

  8. Pictures of trash from Sunday night is completely acceptable because you are allowed to leave trash outside from 5pm on Sunday for Monday morning pick-up. People did not seem to read the article clearly.

    The fix to the problem here is that trash should be brought out that morning for a 9 am pick up, as NEWNC survey suggested.

    1. Salem Street Guy~ I couldn’t agree with you more. Although I leave my house at 7:30 Monday through Friday and the trash is already picked up on my street! You really can’t win.
      I know the workers are hot in the Summer and freezing in the Winter and want to get done early but before 7:30 am? That’s pretty early.
      I myself dont like to put my trash out the night before because, #1, the trash pickers make such a mess and #2 the rats (I see them) are getting bigger than some dogs that live in the North End!
      I feel as though Im fighting a losing battle.

      1. Life Long North Ender — I feel the same way. I don’t want someone rummaging through my trash looking for beer bottles or financial information, so I make sure to wake up and bring the trash down first thing in the morning. I’ve noticed a pattern that they come just about at 7 am on Mondays and closer to 8 am on Wednesdays and Fridays. Even so, putting trash out the night before is both (a) gross because people in our neighborhood throw out all sorts of random stuff [furniture, boxes, and other unbagged trash] and you have to navigate around already narrow sidewalks and (b) risky because as you said it attracts the undesirable trash pickers and rats.

        I too like the dumpster idea in theory but it falls apart quickly. Enforcement would be tricky – – can’t have people coming into the neighborhood to throw out trash – – maybe some sort of resident key card? You sign up, pay a yearly trash fee, and you can bring your trash to a few central locations around the neighborhood. Trouble with that plan is WHERE is the dumpster going to go. Certainly not in my back yard or next to my house, and I’m sure that is how everyone would feel. It also presents the issue of proximity – – do people want to carry their trash a block or two down the street to throw it in a dumpster? Don’t think so.

        The later pick up time I think is the only viable solution. We should demand promises from these mayoral candidates. Demand amendments to any contract with the garbage company. Pick up between 830 and 930 and the problem is largely solved. Well, the problem with trash left out on the streets — not the litterers (a/k/a Bova’s customers).

    2. Maybe when a new contract with the trash hauler is signed but until then…they can start picking trash up at 7AM. I forget the reason that has been given a few times but there is some other problem with starting the pick up at 9

      1. The reason they can’t start at 9 a.m. or thereafter is because “they” say they have other sections of the city to do, not just the North End.

  9. I totally agree on the *theory* of putting out the trash and having it picked up that same morning….However I think that the reality is that the real problem lies in the people who just don’t care and put it out whenever they want and wherever they want. That is not going to stop unless a) Real enforcement can be implemented (challenging at best) or there is a completely different system put in place (such as dumpsters as they do in most European cities, as I have proposed before in meetings).
    We can come up with all the most sensible rules in the world, but they wont solve the problem because people don’t follow them – sadly – and they a very difficult to enforce.

  10. In my neck of the neighborhood I have to say the feasts have made this situation 100 times worse, all week end people were throwing trash into our ally way. We put our trash out as usual Sunday evening and the vendors MOVED IT BACK INTO THE ALLY!!!! As a result the trash yet again did not get picked up. This happens every feast week end every year. I agree this is a problem all year round, but it is much worse during feast weekends.
    And to the land lord who does not think it is his responsibility….actually it is. Our land lord says he will now be sending someone over now on trash mornings to make sure it is not left out, you should try it, at the end of the day your residents are your responsibility, if you don’t like it rent to more responsible people.

    1. Agree 100%. If the bag is left illegally (wrong times) in front of a building, the landlord should get fined. Regardless of who put it there. You will be amazed how quickly an absentee landlord will find a way to police it once they get 3 or 4 fines.

  11. A little piece of advice regarding “undesirable trash pickers”:

    Most of people I’ve seen walk around hunting for cans by rustling the bag. If bottles and cans clink they will dig…

    So why don’t you make it easy for them and separate your recyclables. When there’s a neat 12 pack of Bud D’s or Cherry Cola sitting next to your trash bag they’ll be pleased they won’t have to mess up your neatly packaged garbage.

    1. YES!!! Plus, with single stream recycling y’all shouldn’t have ANY cans or bottles in your trash. If you are throwing them away, you are just being irresponsible. Put a separate recycling bin in your house next to the trash and take it out on Friday morning.

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