NE mounts Clean Streets Awareness

-By Phil Orlandella

New Clean Streets Chairman, David Grant (center), with Public Works Asst. Commissioner Frank O'Brien and District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina.

Spazzare! (to sweep) is a public awareness campaign to draw attention to the need for cleaner streets was announced at NEWRA’s monthly meeting by new committee chair David Grant of Battery Street.

The public relations promotion has drawn the attention of several neighborhood residents who turned out for the committee’s monthly meeting held in the Nazzaro Community Center.

The Globe also did a feature article on the Spazzare! campaign.

At the NEWRA meeting, Grant gave a slide presentation regarding the North End’s clean streets problem and made several suggestions on how to deal with and draw more attention to the neighborhood’s dilemma.

The program entails placing brooms and dustpans on the eleven trash receptacles on Hanover Street with the idea being people and tourists will take the time to clean-up the sidewalks and streets.

The color, cost and mounting of the brooms and dustpans will be a combination of red, white and green. Boston Public Works will provide the brooms and mount them as well, according to Assistant Commissioner Frank O’Brien.

Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina expressed support for the educational campaign and offered to place an ad in the Review to explain the program.

“The program (a pilot) gives everyone who lives in and enjoys this neighborhood the opportunity to make cleaner streets their responsibility,” Grant said. “More importantly the program will serve as a reminder to everyone who visits the neighborhood to please don’t litter and help us preserve this special place for everyone,” he said.

“Providing a broom and dustpan readily available will make it easier for everyone to use and the campaign will develop some exposure for our cause from thousands of people that pass through the community each day,” Grant said.

The proposal also calls for artwork depicting the campaign to be placed on the surface trash receptacles.

Numerous residents have been saying for years, “There’s too much trash on the North End streets” and the situation has a “serious impact on the community that needs to be corrected”.

Grant claimed the primary causes of the local trash problems are:

Apathy-Things just chucked everywhere without consideration.

The sheer volume of visitors from the city, the region and the rest of the world create a huge amount of trash that ends up in the street.

Due a real lack of parking, residents are resistant to year round street sweeping by the City.

The City is broke, the State is broke. The City has told us they do not have the resources to clean the streets by hand year round.

They often discard their worries and their litter on weekends.

The Battery Street resident claimed the additional challenges to possibly resolve some of the trash related problems are:

Scarcity of trash barrels on the streets. Without an alternative, most people are too willing to pitch something on the ground.

The snow Trash Mountains are already revealing their disgusting payload.

The Green Ticket law is helping, but it is not enough without better enforcement of existing laws.

According to Grant the results of deplorable trash conditions are:

Rats everywhere, huge, feeding on the trash we leave out.

Butts sometimes it feels like we all get to live in flavor country.

Birds, pigeons, seagulls and sparrows fighting over the street pizza


Trash has been a major problem in the neighborhood for many years despite the efforts of NEWRA, NEWNC, several neighborhood committees, local organizations, Public Works and elected officials the problem continues.

Residents believe it will take a huge effort by the entire community to get the trash issue resolved.

“Spazzane is an innovative program that will make a statement that could rally the community to be a part of this endeavor,” Grant said. “We need a program that will empower everyone to share, to be creative, work together and to continue the proud tradition of the North End taking care of itself,” he added.

The kick off of the campaign will be held in conjunction with Boston SHINE’s North End Clean Up scheduled for Saturday, April 30. Time and location to be announced.

The committee expects there will be those that won’t participate because they feel the City of Boston should be cleaning streets that’s what taxes are for.

It appears the campaign theme will be Sparraze! The Brooms Are Coming…The Brooms Are Coming.

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