District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina attended the December neighborhood council (NEWNC) and the Clean Streets committee (NEWRA) meetings this week proposing a “morning-only” window of 6:00 am to 9:00 am for residents to put out trash on North End streets. Currently, household trash can be put out at 5pm the night before through 7am in the morning, when the trucks start picking up the garbage. Pickups are made 3 times per week. This results in 45 hours per week with trash on the streets. The Councilor is following up with the neighborhood after the recent City Council hearing on the rodent and trash problem.
Rats come out when they smell the garbage and these lengthy periods of trash on the streets is worsening the rodent problem. Last year, the City proposed restricting household trash placement from midnight to 7am, instead of the current 5pm-7am window. There was strong public opposition, primarily from seniors and those that would have trouble meeting a 7am deadline.
With the later 9am pickup, there was general support at this week’s meetings hoping that most residents would be able to adjust to the new timeframe. It was noted that Beacon Hill has moved to a morning only pickup with some success.
A notable challenge to the proposal will be at City Hall and Public Works which will have to renegotiate with the pickup contractor to start their routes at 9am instead of 7am. The contractor claims that traffic after 7am gets too congested for efficient pickups.
Councilor LaMattina is asking the neighborhood groups for help in addressing the rodent and trash issues. Public works has increased rat baiting in the neighborhood. He is working with other city councilors, including Councilor Ross, as part of the Problem Properties taskforce. The Councilor’s office is writing letters and calling trash offenders. The Clean Streets committee is also sending the Councilor offending addresses.
Public Services has re-invigorated its efforts, baiting and trapping for rats. They have also put more trash barrels on the street and continue to work on educating residents in proper trash disposal with mailings. The Councilor supports the Green Ticket bill and is working with State Rep. Michlewitz to garner its passage.
Attendees at the NEWNC meeting noted that transients rip open bags at night, looking for bottles. On windy nights, the trash spreads throughout the streets. One minor improvement is that residents are not using “CVS” bags anymore, but many still use single-ply kitchen bags instead of sturdier double-ply. I made the suggestion that a few central trash disposal sites around the neighborhood may help with resident adjustment to a 6am-9am disposal window. For off-shift workers or others that have to leave earlier in the morning, they might appreciate a place where they could bring their trash at other times. At the Clean Streets meeting, LaMattina showed pictures of attractive street containers used in Europe and designed for household trash.
The Councilor, NEWNC and NEWRA’s Clean Streets committee asks residents and merchants to report sightings and trash violations to:
Mayor’s 24-Hour Hotline:
(617) 635-4500 or online at www.cityofboston.gov/mayor/24
Councilor LaMattina’s Office:
via Kathy Carangelo-McIsaac: email@example.com