Health & Environment

Solid Progress Reported at the Clean Streets Committee Meeting

NEWRA’s Clean Streets Committee is gaining momentum. The group is working on several new initiatives, but is starting to see significant improvement toward the cleanliness of the neighborhood.

This is a report from their well-attended Tuesday, May 18th meeting:

North End Cleanup Program
Many streets are benefiting from the City’s North End cleanup program. Frank O’Brien, from the Public Works Department (PWD), reported that the “Green Machine” is on the streets almost every night. There is also a full-time manual cleaner, or “hoakey,” cleaning the gutters between cars.

The newly placed barrels have also helped get some trash off the streets. Residents reported some incidents of overflowing barrels and the committee urges folks to call the city’s hotline at 617-635-4500 to report these issues. During weekdays, the hotline has a walkie-talkie system to PWD that can immediately respond.

Co-chair Naomi Paul asked if PWD could power wash the sidewalks. Frank O’Brien said they could do that on a few streets, but not the whole neighborhood. Clean Streets will compile a list of recommended streets for sidewalk power wash cleaning.

Good Neighbor Recognition Program
Salem Street True Value and V. Cirace & Son (Richmond St.) were the April 2010 winners of the Clean Streets Good Neighbor Award. Co-chair Patricia Thiboutot and Janet Gilardi presented the awards with photos taken by the Regional Review’s Phil Orlandella (See V. Cirace & Son and Salem Street True Value Win First “Good Neighbor Recognition Awards”. The May winner will be announced on, and the Regional Review.

Nominations for the monthly award can come from committee members, residents and the businesses themselves by sending them to A newly formed nominating committee will check on the locations and report at the monthly meetings where a vote will be taken. The Nominating Committee for the Good Neighbor Recognition Award is Michael Bloomer, Marie Simboli and Anne Pistorio. 

Green Ticket Bill – Effective May 11th. GreenTicketThe Green Ticket law is now in effect (see Governor Signs “Green Ticket” Bill Into Law). Properties that receive green tickets for trash and cleanliness violations will receive $25 green tickets. Unpaid tickets will be added to the owners’ property tax bill in the following period. Code enforcement will be ticketing trash put out in CVS-type or 1-ply tall kitchen bags. Two-ply bags (usually black) or containers are required.

Handicap Street Ramps
Many residents have noticed that the city has installed temporary, asphalt ramps on street corners in order to be in compliance with state and federal regulations. Residents noted that the ramps are not very effective and unsightly. PWD said that it could be 3-4 years before permanent ramps are installed.

Movie “What’s Your Number?”
During the May 26th and May 27th filming on impacted North End streets, PWD will do earlier trash pick-ups before 10am. During the filming when streets are closed, the movie will clean up and drop off trash at a pre-determined location on Cross Street. A resident requested that the plastering of paper flyers be stopped because they end up in the gutters. Unfortunately, the city requires the flyer notifications.

Magnets with the Trash Tips Sheet
Chris Young from the North End Chamber of Commerce presented refrigerator magnets with the North End Trash Tips Sheet for residents. The committee was quite pleased with the magnets. Young researched the product and had 1,000 of them produced for the committee. The magnets will be distributed via neighborhood realtors and community functions. Tina Busa, creater of the sheet content, has also recently distributed the sheet to all the realtors in the neighborhood. (Click the image below to enlarge.)


Smoke Pots
The North End Chamber of Commerce has purchased 15 smoke pots and has started placing them in problem spots. The store owners are taking responsibility for emptying the pots.

Rats and Rodents
Anne Pistorio, head of the rats sub-committee, reported that she has met several times with Pedro Torres who has been assigned to the North End. Because 40% of the North End is on man-made land, there is a large matrix of burrows that exist underground. She recommends property owners clean with pinesol or sulfanaptha (available at Green Cross Pharmacy). Dog waste that is not picked up also attracts rats. She advises residents not to feed the birds. A consistent issue is the “trash-pickers” that open garbage bags during the night. Lastly, she noted a situation on Charter St. where cooked spaghetti and meatballs were being thrown out the window onto the street.

The next Clean Streets Committee meeting is scheduled for June 15th, 7:00pm at the Nazzaro Center. All are welcome. The committee can be reached at Visit their website at

Related posts:
V. Cirace & Son and Salem Street True Value Win First “Good Neighbor Recognition Awards”
City pulls out the stops for the North End Cleanup Program
The NEW North End Trash Sheet