Health & Environment

Green Tickets, Rats & Missing Spazzare Brooms Discussed at Clean Streets Meeting

Green Ticket Law – Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement Officer, Chris Stockbridge, updated the NEWRA Clean Streets Committee on Green Ticket law enforcement in the North End. Stockbridge works the night shift and said they are finding 15-20 violations per night. He noted that bagging is better with less CVS-type bags being put out by residents. Code enforcement is also working with the private haulers for restaurants so that commercial trash is put out later for pickup around 2 a.m.

Committee members continue to emphasize the problems with absentee landlords that do not supervise their tenants. Some question Code Enforcement’s assumption that the trash situation is “ten times better” since the Green Ticket law went into effect. Even with the Green Ticket law, the fines do not appear until the following year on property owner tax bills.

Regarding the process for the Green Ticket law, it was clarified that code enforcement is giving Green Tickets to the property address where the trash appears, even if there is no identifying material in the garbage. Some owners have complained that others are putting out illegal trash in front of their addresses. There is an appeals process for such cases, according to code enforcement.

John Meany, Director of Environmental Services

Rat Situation Update

The Clean Streets Committee heard from John Meany, Director of Environmental Services for the City of Boston. Meany was pleased to report that there has been a drastic reduction in the number of rodent/rat reports this year, with only 8 so far versus 58 at this time last year. Spring sewer baiting in manholes has begun and Pedro Torres is in the North End at least twice a week to address rat hotspots. Parmenter Street is still a hotspot as is the Aquarium MBTA station. Meany noted some improvement at Cleveland Place recently.

The new enclosed compactors at Haymarket are expected to help the North End area. The department is also working with the Greenway’s pest control contractor. Meany thanked Anne Pistorio for being the eyes and ears of the department with daily reports.

City trash and rodent issues should be reported to the hotline at 617-635-4500.

Spazzare! Broom Program on Hanover Street

Clean Streets Committee Chair David Grant gave an update on the status of the Spazzare program where decorated brooms and dustpans were installed next to street barrels on Hanover Street. Grant said the good news is the increased awareness, highlighted by extensive local news and TV coverage (Spazzare! Clean-Up Campaign Launches at Boston Shines in the North End). “Empirically, Hanover Street appears cleaner,” said Grant.

Spazzare Brooms Have Gone Missing on Hanover St.

The bad news is that in the first three weeks, 9 of the 12 brooms have been stolen and several of the dustpans are missing or damaged. The apparatus seems to be fine during the week, but the brooms disappear on Friday and Saturday evenings when the crowds hit Hanover Street. Using replacement non-decorated brooms, there are now six brooms in service.

After a discussion with the committee, it was decided to continue the Spazzare program for another month. Residents said they have seen people using the brooms, but are disappointed so many of the brooms have been stolen.

Grant was impressed with the efforts seen in Downtown Crossing, where a Business Improvement District tax is funding manual street cleaners.

Clean Streets Business Recognition Award

Last month, Lucca was presented with the Clean Streets Business Recognition award. For May 2011, the nominees were Caffe Vittoria, G’Vanni’s, Galleria Umberto and Gennaro’s 5 North Square. A hand vote by committee members gave this month’s award to Caffe Vittoria. The committee will arrange with the business owner for a presentation and photo opportunity.

Contact the Clean Streets Committee at

One Reply to “Green Tickets, Rats & Missing Spazzare Brooms Discussed at Clean Streets Meeting

  1. My suggestion is to not make the brooms look unique. People will be less apt to steal them if they are just a plain old broom. This is a great idea, overall…don't give up the ship….just needs a few tweaks.

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