City Councilor Sal LaMattina said all options are on the table to deal with East Boston’s trash and litter problem following a hearing he co-chaired last week with Councilor Rob Consalvo. At the hearing LaMattina and Consalvo took testimony from Boston Public Works (BPW) staff and residents on what they thought could curb trash and litter on city streets. The neighborhoods that LaMattina and Consalvo
focused on were the congested neighborhoods of Eastie, the North End, Beacon Hill, Charlestown and the South End.
“We have to look at all options because what works for one neighborhood may not work for the other,” said LaMattina. “With that said, what works for one section of a neighborhood like Eagle Hill in East Boston may not work for Orient Heights.”
At the meeting BPW’s Superintendent Elmo Baldassari testified about how his department sees trash put out in different neighborhoods and wondered whether a uniformed trash ‘put out’ policy would work.
Baldassari and LaMattina agreed that in neighborhoods or sections of neighborhoods where barrels are feasible trash should be put curbside in barrels. Also, Baldassari and LaMattina agreed that the city should perhaps adopt a trash bag policy (making residents use a heavy duty two-ply trash bag) as the standard for trash disposal.
“We also discussed whether or not it made sense to have multiple trash pick up days in sections where trash seems to be at its highest in decades,” said LaMattina.
Capitol Waste, contracted by the City for trash removal in Eastie reported that last week half of a 17-ton truck was filled with trash on Cottage Street from Porter to Sumner Streets.
“That seems to be a problem,” said LaMattina. “But the downside of multiple trash pick up days is that there is more trash curbside during the week and more of a chance for rodents and other animals to get at it and cause more litter and trash on the streets.”
LaMattina is also examining the possibility of having street cleaning year round and be the day after trash is picked up on Eastie streets.
“For example it makes no sense that Bennington Street’s trash pick day is Thursday morning but street cleaning is not until the following Monday,” said LaMattina. “That’s four days later, street cleaning should be either the same day (hours after) trash pick up or the very next morning.”
LaMattina and the Committee on Neighborhood Services of which Consalvo is a member will digest testimony from the hearing. The committee will report back to BPW with its findings and begin working with the department on solutions to the problems affecting neighborhood cleanliness.