Residents Register Trash Complaints at Public Meeting

April 24, 2012
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A huge pile of trash bags was placed on the sidewalk and street on Commercial Street on the Sunday before the Boston Marathon

Like District A-1 Boston Police Captain Thomas Lee, Assistant to the Department of Public Works Commissioner Frank O’Brien, was hammered by residents at the NEWRA Public Safety Committee meeting held at the Nazzaro Community Center last week.

Instead of crime, O’Brien was the target of what residents called dirty streets and sidewalks relating to household trash placement and bottle pickers that have created a dirty neighborhood.

“Trash placement and removal have become a real problem,” one resident said. “People are still disregarding the rules and regulations and there appears to be no enforcement.”

“Absentee landlords, residents who don’t care and trash pickers are the main culprits,” according to many residents at the public meeting.

O’Brien told residents the “trash pickers actions are a police problem.”

Police have told residents that they are the problem of DPW and Code Enforcement.

“We’re going around in circles with who is responsible, making it difficult to get this issue resolved,” another resident noted.

O’Brien advised residents that DPW has all the necessary manpower and machinery to keep the community clean. Hockeys, mechanical street cleaning and more.

Residents bashed around what they thought were new ideas, however, the ideas have been suggested before and turned down.

Two day pick-up instead of three days, changing the hours of trash placement and pick-up and bigger fines which have to be legislated.

Residents told O’Brien that the Green Ticket Bill fines are to low and it doesn’t prevent the existing trash problem.

O’Brien claimed the mechanic street cleaning is getting the job done and at least 6-8 more streets will have signs posted for the clean-up.

One resident’s suggestion that streets with parking on one-side only, should be altered to two-sides by moving cars to the opposite side. “That means moving more cars and placing additional signs,” O’Brien noted.

O’Brien pointed out the “every time DPW or the City attempts to make changes the community opposes them.” O’Brien also noted that DPW now has backpack vacuums being used in the community to pick-up the thousands of cigarette butts that constantly build up on the streets and sidewalks.

Code Enforcement representatives were unable to attend the meeting.

O’Brien suggested a program each Friday when both household trash and recyclables are placed out to cover the entire North End with manpower to help resolve the problem, including pickers.

One resident actually called the situation a “public health problem.”

It appears most residents left the meeting with the understanding that things were going to be done to correct and resolve the problems mentioned at the meeting.

The next NEWRA Clean Streets Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday May 15 at 7pm in the Nazzaro Community Center.

The Committee voted to present its next Good Neighbor Award for helping to keep the neighborhood clean to Galleria Umberto on Hanover Street.