Health & Environment

Clean Streets Committee Tackles Trash & Rats

True Value’s Ken Rothman does his part to keep the North End streets clean
True Value’s Ken Rothman does his part to keep the North End streets clean

Frustrated members at this week’s Clean Streets meeting discussed the increasing problem of street trash and rodent sightings in the neighborhood. Clean Streets is a committee of the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA, City Councilor Sal LaMattina attended the meeting, along with John Meaney from the Health Division of Inspectional Services and Frank O’Brien from Boston Public Works.

New Trash Barrels

Frank O’Brien of Public Works noted they installed 6 new trash barrels in the North End in recent weeks. However, several others were prevented from being installed after residents complained that they did not want them in front of their homes. Naomi Paul, co-chair of NEWRA’s Clean Streets committee, said this was counterproductive because the neighborhood needs more barrels. Brian Brandt noted that barrels with smaller open tops/slots are preferable. Committee members and Public Works committed to walking the neighborhood to find appropriate spots, preferably near street corners. The popular, solar-powered Big Bellies, are in limited supply due to cost cuts, but Public Works will experiment with other types of barrels rather than the open-top ones that have been ineffective and attract insects. Residents should NOT to use street barrels for their own household trash.

Rats on the Increase

The rain in June and increasing food sources have brought out the rat population in the neighborhood. Now that the rain has subsided, sightings are down, but officials warned that rodents tend to come back with the annual feast season. Officials indicated that residents have improved the way they put out their trash in sealed, tied bags (rather than the CVS bags). Unfortunately, the Green Ticket bill was vetoed by the Governor although the veto was related to snow removal issues, so another version is expected in the future.

John Meaney, of Inspectional Services Health department, uses a team targeting rodent problems in specific areas. Starting at 4 am, the team places bait and traps depending on the situation and continues the routine until the rat presence is eliminated. Residents are encouraged to report rodent sightings directly to his office at 617-961-3422 from 8am-4pm. After hours, residents should call the Mayor’s Hotline at (617) 635-4500 or online at

Take Pride in the North End; Keep It Clean & Healthy

The headline above is the new campaign tagline for the Clean Streets committee. Guidelines and tips will be distributed throughout the neighborhood, including businesses and nearby colleges. The committee is also encouraging residents to join their Facebook group and use their website at

Councilor Sal LaMattina also asked the committee for guidance on where to post the new Dog Waste Pickup signs. Neighborhood parks and open spaces were suggested. Dog waste tends to attract rats and all attendees cited the need to have dog owners pick up after their dogs.

Co-Chair Naomi Paul indicated that the business community has been doing their part and cited the success of “10 Minutes With A Broom” where owners commit to keeping their sidewalks and gutters clear of trash. Chamber of Commerce President Joanne Anzalone attended last month’s Clean Streets meeting and the two organizations are looking for ways to work together in the future.