Guest Op-ed: Updates to Trash and Recycling Will Improve Efficiency and Convenience

Mayor Martin J. Walsh

One of the most fundamental ways we can improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods is by proactively addressing the basic needs of our residents. The men and women of our Public Works Department do a great job keeping our communities clean and in good condition for the benefit of us all. We are always striving to do a better job in delivering the exceptional city services that our residents deserve, which is why we are excited to be making updates to our citywide waste collection services.

Beginning on July 1, trash, recycling, and yard waste collection will begin at 6 a.m. in every neighborhood across the City, one hour earlier than the current 7 a.m. start time. This change will allow workers to get a jumpstart on their day-long routes. It also means that they will complete their work earlier in the day, reducing congestion on city streets during peak hours.

While these changes may seem small, it is always our top focus to listen to the feedback of our residents and make the changes that are necessary to best meet their needs. These changes to the trash collection schedule will build on the efforts we’ve made over the last several years to ensure high-quality services for residents and keep our neighborhoods in great condition.

Over the last several years, the City has taken several proactive steps to ensure high-quality services for our residents. We’ve created six full-time Hokey positions to keep sidewalks and streets clean of litter and debris. A Hokey is a city employee who works on foot with basic equipment to clean city streets. In addition, the City hires upwards of 20 seasonal Hokeys each year to assist with citywide cleanup efforts.

We’ve partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection on a “Recycle Smart” campaign. Through the campaign, we’re looking to inform residents on placing proper materials in the recycling bin and separating problem materials that cause contamination. We’re also deploying more assets through our Highway Division to ensure cleanliness on our main thoroughfares.

Just a few weeks ago, we concluded our “Love Your Block” projects in each neighborhood, a program that was established to unite neighbors and communities for a day of cleanups in community gardens, public spaces, and schools. These projects are a great way to foster a culture of community by bringing people together who share a common thread: love of their neighborhood.

We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with residents in communities all across the City of Boston to make sure their neighborhoods shine. I encourage any resident with questions about their trash collection schedule to download our free “Trash Day” app. App users can also view a calendar for their home’s collection dates, set reminders and get notifications of schedule changes. Information is also available on our City website, Martin Walsh is the Mayor for the City of Boston

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