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Medford Councilors Frustrated with Trash in City Squares

"The only word that I can think of is disgrace." -City Council President Robert Maiocco

Piles of trash bags are often set out on sidewalks in city squares days before garbage trucks make their rounds, according to city councilors, and they're sick of it.

"The mayor could pick up the phone tomorrow and have this addressed, there is no doubt in my mind," City Councilor Robert Maiocco said in a Tuesday meeting. "The only word I can think of is disgrace.”

Maiocco brought forward a resolution calling for Mayor Michael McGlynn to review and enhance the trash pick-up program for city squares; it was approved by the council unanimously.

Maiocco said he walked through Medford Square before Tuesday's city council meeting and watched elderly people struggle to navigate their way through sidewalks covered with bags of garbage.

"He’s (McGlynn) got to do something with this,” Maiocco said. "It is an embarrassment.”

Councilor Rick Caraviello, who owns Medford Square-based RC Limo, said trash is sometimes left out in the square days before scheduled pick-ups. He said Waste Management -- the city's trash pick-up provider -- should be able to come up with a better program.

"There’s no reason Waste Management can't come up with a better plan to pick up the rubbish," he said.

If the city were to hire someone to the code enforcement office that would monitor trash in squares the fines alone would likely pay for the position, and it would clean up the city, Councilor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said.

“The city is just looking like a pigsty,” she said.

Alicia Hunt May 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM
It would be nice if city businesses took responsibility for knowing when trash should be put out and not leaving trash in front of their businesses. When Medford really needs more public safety officers and staff in the schools, it's sad to think that priority needs to be given to hiring someone to make sure that businesses know their civic responsibility. Did the Memorial Day holiday really cause that much confusion?
raymay May 31, 2012 at 12:53 PM
How about an email/phone blast to remind square businesses, coupled with ticketing? Other cities will just ticket you if your trash is on the curb at an inappropriate time. A few tickets and I suspect they will start remembering. I consult the guide that the DPW sends around the beginning of each year. IT tells me when it's a holiday week and pickup is delayed, it tells me when it's a recycling week, it tells me when it's a yard waste week. Not that hard.
Public Access Producer May 31, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Robert Maiocco, the Council President, is a McGlynn ally. You have to read between the lines with him. The outburst aimed at the Mayor from Maiocco on Tuesday night may have less to do with Waste Management and more to do with a personal conflict. Unfortunately, that's how these long-time politicians play the game. Sad that Medford residents have to look through the political posturing to get simple city services they need.
Rick Catino June 01, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Waste management need not come up with a better program to solve this issue nor do additional headcount need to be added to the city payroll. Fine the businesses that disregard the existing processes (e.g. Trash to be put out no earlier than the ordinance allows, blocking the sidewalks, etc.). Speaking of rubbish, the previous comment on Maicco and McGlynn is another example of useless off-point opinion and characterization, and does nothing to address the issue.
Public Access Producer June 01, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Rick Catino's unwarranted attack on a legitimate post is noted. It is all about the simple services the residents of Medford deserve, from a transparent agreement with Waste Management and how they will pick up the trash to how potholes and other road deficiencies (which Waste Management trucks pounding on the tar certainly add to) will be corrected. This post is about improving our city. The politics play a big part in it, especially when a firm like Waste Management gets allegedly a "no bid" deal.
Patricia Davis June 01, 2012 at 11:23 PM
This garbage situation sounds horrible - and makes localized rat prevention efforts futile. Clearly the present waste storage and pick-up system is not working well in all areas of Medford. And local businesses who have no respect for the community need to be held accountable. They would not strew garbage on the sidewalks if they had to live in that mess. As for "just" fining violators, there has to be a person to issue the fine, and we have ONE code enforcement officer for the whole city. The contrast to where I used to live - less than a mile away - is striking. Somerville has over 30 ticketing officers in various capacities to enforce local regulations, including trash and parking (something else Medford does not have - parking rules are hardly ever enforced, and I have to call the police when someone parks in front of my driveway). Enforcement works - I do not see bags of garbage on the street in Davis, Teele, or Magoun Squares, where I spend lots of time. I still own my condo in Somerville, and we are ticketed immediately if there are even uncovered trash receptacles visible. People get the message and do not store their waste improperly. I sincerely hope that the Mayor and other Medford city officials will take steps to address this pressing and chronic issue.
Rick Catino June 02, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Patricia, I agree with you totally. My thinking was that ordinances already exist that dictate when and how trash can be put out for pick-up, and all of the squares in Medford are routinely patrolled by the Medford Police. All that might be required is a crackdown and a few dozen new ticket books, to change the behavior. When Medford goes to the winter parking rules, police routinely ticket scofflaws to change behavior; I see this as a very similar circumstance, albeit with more serious health and safety implications.
Rick Catino June 02, 2012 at 04:36 PM
PAP (nice name). Unwarranted attack? Legitimate post? Really? The issue as described deals with the people who deposit their trash onto the sidewalk. It is doubtful that the contract with Waste Management or some real or imagined covert political alliance enter into the equation. I have no desire to debate you. Post whatever you want, on any topic you want, with any plot-line you conceive. I'm sure the reader will give it the attention it deserves. I know I will.
raymay June 02, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Rick and Patricia, I agree with both of you; the city needs to have more than ONE enforcement official. Rumor is that the holdup is the police; they want the ticketing and parking enforcement positions to be fully-benefited, union, well-paid ones. They city can't afford that, but they can't afford to hire no one, which is the default solution. Please, this has been going on for years. Can't something be figured out??
Mark June 04, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Is enforcing these fines, inspections or whatever all on the shoulders of one inspector? Well if it is, extend the authority to the mayor himself as he seems to manage by walking around - which is a management style I like. And also list the establishments who ignore the ordinances. List them here in this blog. I will boycott any establishment I see ignoring the ordinance and recommend other readers do as well. Medford, like the communities around it is all fine places to live and shop. Allowing businesses to revert to byzantine behavior ought not to be tolerated.
Frank Mulligan July 21, 2012 at 01:06 AM
This has been a PROBLEM in Medford for very long time. The City Council talk about it. They complain to Michael. It goes in 1 ear and out the other. Let the trash build -up. Then CALL news REPORTS. And see how FAST it gets SOLVED Micheal Mc Glynn DOES'NT CARE.
Frank Mulligan July 23, 2012 at 08:50 PM
This has been a PROBLEM for some time. 1) They need to hire more HELP. Don't even think of it. This will continue and will not be SOLVED. Michael DOES"NT care. The City Council Do their JOB. Michael DOES"NT. Michael My SUGGESTION. Please Resign. Tax Payers would APPRECIATE it.
Frank Mulligan July 23, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Patrica Somerville is fine. Medford does'nt have meter maids and so fourth. Because Michael Mc Glynn will OWE to MANY FAVORS. with the tickets. This will continue and left in the City Council's hands. Medford doe'nt Have the MONEY. Thank Michael Mc Glynn. Call him. Good Luck Patrica.
Frank Mulligan July 23, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Store owners put the TRASH out to enjoy the week-end. They don't care. Medford has 1 person doing the job. The POLICE won't do it. INCREASE the FINES.&&&& It's Michael Mc Glynn also. His wish came trus Waste Management. He got what he WANTED. Now he could CARE LESS. It will NEVER Change.
ella watson July 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM
>The Only Walking The Mayor Does... Is In Circles Around Serious Issues. If Businesses Are Failing To Follow A "SIMPLE" Trash Policies..What Else Are They Choosing To ignore? Faulty Wiring, Plumbing Problems, Sanitary Requirements, What Other Code Violations Are Being Ignore. Parking Abuses (Business Owners) Parking ALL Day Long. The Cities Trash Situations Is The "Big Red Flag" Flying In The Face Of Its Citizen..And Those That Utilize Our City. The First Thing You Notice Is TRASH. It This Your Master Plan Mayor "kool aid" McGlynn..To Allow Trash To Blow Around..Eventually Landing In Our Mighty Mystic..Is This Your Vision Of a "Green Medford".. What The Mayor Conciders To Be "Green" In Medford Is MONEY Wasted On Everyone (increases in personal income for Mayor, Council Members and Dept Heads)... But The Taxpayers.
Public Access Producer August 01, 2012 at 04:45 PM
McGlynn has a game plan and he doesn't let anyone know what it is. I'd like to know what kind of deal he really has with Waste Management. Ella, write to me offlist visual_Radio[@]yahoo.com i'll respond to your concerns regarding the thread that just closed
Rick Catino August 01, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Again, how much does it cost the police department for a case of tickets? I'll pay for them! It's long past time to punish the offenders rather than continue to "trash" the local pols....
ella watson August 01, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Alicia Hunt, I agree with you. Maybe there could be a requirement to belong to the chamber of commerce. In order to be a member you can't violate city codes and ordinances regarding trash.
ella watson August 01, 2012 at 10:05 PM
I think the citizens should pick up any trash they see flying around, Out at the wrong time, Improperly contained, Blocking the side walk or road for pedestrians and vehicles. ...Just..pick it up and bring it to city hall and make sure the Mayor gets it,.......Obviously he doesn't see what everyone else can. People wait till School Kids and Buses..ITS WORSE...and you wonder why no-ones out out on the weekend nights....tumbleweed..its a ghost town.
ella watson August 01, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Rick Catino..believe me..tickets get written..worry about... do they get paid.
Rick Catino August 01, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I can't understand the logic in bringing trash to the mayor's office. What problem does that solve? Why not bring it into the store that ILLEGALLY it it on the sidewalk initially?
Frank Mulligan August 11, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Just maybe by bringing the TRASH to his office. He will do something. I doubt it very much. He started this new trash system. it really has been a PROBLEM. The City Council will not get a feed back from Mc Glynn's office. I was a resident in Medford, I moved to Malden it's cleaner, They keep it CLEAN. Medford can't do what they wat to why. $$$$$$. Thank Mc Glynn.
Arthur DeLuca August 14, 2012 at 06:19 PM
You like Malden's system of trash pick-up better than Medford's? But in Malden they only pick up recyclables free; for everything else you must PAY to have it picked up. No trash barrels are allowed to be used., instead the residents must purchase and use those specially marked trash bags (the 3 for $10.00 kind) for all their non-recyclables. In Medford your get 64 gallons a week of free curbside trash pick-up; only the excess needs to be in those pay-to-throw bags. In Malden you get ZERO trash pick-up free. The Malden residents living on the Medford border began dumping their trash in in front of nearby Medford residents' homes when thir systenm changed. We're lucky here in Medford that McGlynn picked the current method of Waste Management-only barrels that still give us free pick-up, to deal with eliminating paying for these other Cities' trash dumped in our City. He could have taken the easy way out and switched to Malden's system. I'm so glad he chose the fairer and wiser route.

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