Pics: Rosalie Tirella
Millbury Street, last week:
Endicott Street – Our Lady of Czestochowa church (aka St. Mary’s) parking lot, rear:
Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella
Monday – two days before City of Woo garbage pick up day – I saw this “mixed bag” on Millbury Street, coming home from work:
I wondered: Which bags will the City pick up?
A little game you can play here, in the ‘hood, where trash takes on a personality and life all its own!
Yesterday, coming home, I got my answer: everything except the contractors bags!
Which made sense. The sad part: now those damn bags will sit on the sidewalk – forcing pedestrians to walk in the street! – until I make a flurry of phone calls to the City of Worcester/the Mayor’s Office.
The fault lies with the dunderhead tenant or illegal dumper! WHO PUTS OUT A CONTRACTORS BAG FILLED WITH GARBAGE?! DON’T WE ALL KNOW THE CITY ONLY PICKS UP CITY OF WOO YELLOW GARBAGE BAGS FILLED WITH GARBAGE?
The dumpers were either 1. aware of the rules and flouted them or 2. in the dark and need to be EDUCATED. Whatever happened to those big City of Worcester postcards that were once upon a time mailed to all city residents? The ones on which DIRECTIONS FOR PROPERLY DISPOSING OF YOUR GARBAGE WERE WRITTEN IN ABOUT a zillion languages?! The ones with easy to understand graphics? We need another mass mailing of those gems!
My neighbor, the great, brassy lady with a heart of gold and tough as nails moral code, the woman who is always cleaning up and tidying up ALL OF lower Ward Street – with a “Hefty” helping of righteous indignation – was drinking coffee with her sister a few mornings ago. Her sister was visiting from another Woo neighborhood, one sans garbage tsunami. As her sister sipped her coffee, she looked out my gal pal’s kitchen window and saw what she thought was an awefully big squirrel sitting on its haunches in my friend’s back yard. It looked like a giant squirrel … but not quite.
She said to my friend: What’s that?
My friend looked out her kitchen window. Expecting to see a fluffy squirel tail attached to the critter to which she had now turned her attention …she saw a long, thin, furless RAT’S TAIL coiled on her lawn – attached to a rotund bottom, attached to a rat the size of a cat. She screamed A RAT!!!
She yelled, bellowed, at the giant rodent. It got scared and skittered into a hole…
Last night, as we chatted on the phone, we tried to determine where the big rat came from, which three decker or building. The list of candidates was LONG.
We decided 90 Endicott Street was the source:
Then I told her: REJOICE! The neighborhood PIG STY was swarming this evening with undercover cops! 10 at least!!
A killer tracked down?
The place was swarming with the good guys!!! All of them were wearing their dark blue bullet-proof vests. Bright blue lights now pulsated from their unmarked cars. Confused looking folks, with their heads down were surrounded by cops and cop cars.
This is how crazy all the garbage has made me!
I was not worried about firearms or shootouts…I was obsessed with, gunnin’ for the guy in the building WHO ALWAYS DUMPED THE DAMN TRASH!
Ha! I said to my neighbor. He and his buddies are outa there! Maybe now the flow of trash will be stanched!
My neighbor was silent over the other end of the phone. She, wiser than I, may not have been as optimistic as this Green Island Grrrl!
Pics+text by Rosalie Tirella
… Or free yellow garbage bags
Or … something! This visual pummeling can’t continue! This public health disaster hurts our kids – many poor and already behind the 8 ball!
We here in D 4 are not the suburbs! We’re not even the West Side or Burncoat – we are true city, lots of inner-city spaces.
We need SOLUTIONS NOW!
I took these photos in Green Island, lower Vernon Hill, even Stafford Street, during these past few weeks. This says EVERYTHING ABOUT OUR CITY – OUR VALUES, OUR WORLD VIEW, our relationship to outsiders. This urban messy piss pot cancels out all the accomplishments. People leave the Hanover, drive to the expressway … and see discarded tattered office chairs or even bureaus on our streets and on-ramps. They see green leaf or contractor bags filled with crap that the city ignores on trash pick up day because the bags are not official, City of Worc.-sanctioned garbage bags. JUST PICK THEM UP ON TRASH DAY, CASSELLA GUYS! Please! They decompose on the sidewalks over time! And with summer here, the stench will be unbearable. Rats galore …
The Worcester trash problem discourages solid folks from buying homes or renting apartments here, the second largest CITY in New England; it keeps small businesses at bay. Visitors remember the negative – and tell their friends! And laugh! We are not the utility closet of New England any longer – but its Dumpster.
I’ve never seen it so bad! And I grew up poor on these streets years ago!
We are killing our city, Mayor Joe Petty and city council! This is so heart-breaking for responsible residents who clean, pick up after neighbors, call city hall to get some help – EVERY DAY. Every day! And let’s not get started on discarded syringes!
By Rosalie Tirella
As in Worcester’s HUGE ILLEGAL DUMPING PROBLEM!!!
I’ve lived in the ‘hood for most of my life. It’s never been this bad in our city. I took this pic a month ago … This photo and several others were published in InCity Times. Garbage galore on Worcester streets!
Let’s face reality: The city’s yellow garbage bags, recyling bins and drop off center in Quinsig Village aren’t enough. People are basically shoving their shit anywhere they please – usually in District 4.
Why is that?
Are people too poor to buy the $10 bag of city trash bags?
Are they sick of lugging things up and down in their recycling bins?
Are people moving in and out of Worcester inner-city apartments because they are fleeing domestic violence, unpaid rent bills, gun play and are just too freaked out to dispose of their shit in an orderly, legal fashion? So they just dump their crap, thinking: I’ll get another bureau at Good Will. I can leave this desk on this street corner and my sister will give me her old one. GOTTA GO!!!
In other words: folks, under duress, just abandoning stuff before heading to their next urban catastrophe.
Is it depression? People so overwhelmed by their HUGE PROBLEMS that they’re just too crestfallen, sad, stuck to expend the energy needed to dispose of their garbage properly?
The broken window theory? As in: look at all this garbage strewn all along lower Endicott Street…What difference does it make if I dump my old desk top computer on the sidewalk? … And the next person comes along and thinks the same thing vis a vis his box spring mattress!
You should see our Worcester inner city streets! You should see how people have adjusted to the piles and piles of debris! Kids and families walk by all the garbage as if its part of the Worcester scenery. A few days ago I saw five teens walking down lower Endicott Street. They were friends, talking animatedly among themselves, laughing. Having fun. How heartbreaking for me as an adult to watch the casual way they walked by a HILL of green contractor bags filled with crap! As if they were oblivious to all that ugliness! I grew up on these streets. My mom and kid sisters and I never walked past a HILL OF GARBAGE BAGS! It would have been such an affront to the way my mother raised her kids/ lived her life.
Do you think the middle class renter or, God help him/her, developer is going to want to put his/her money into a neighborhood that looks like a landfill? Do you think some middle class person with a job and a car and a career – or even a working-class worker bee – is going to want to LIVE in these refuse-choked neighborhoods?
Do we want our little children walking to school past all this UNSANITARY SHIT?
A few months ago, I saw a big slimy rat, in the dark, skulking towards garbage. How many rats’ nests do we need to find before we DEAL WITH ALL THE ILLEGAL DUMPING IN OUR CITY??? How many of our little kids have seen rats in their backyards?
Some ideas TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM:
Create one or two FULL-TIME City of Worcester inner-city garbage guy/gal jobs. Not DPW nuisance patrol – a team that goes to spots after the city’s received numerous calls about illegal dumping at the sites … but two folks whose job is simply to drive up and down our inner-city streets picking up the tv sets, sofas, bags of clothing, etc. The jobs should be given to two District 4 folks. The requirements: KNOW YOUR ‘HOODs. KNOW WHERE THE GARBAGE IS. AND PICK IT UP. For 7 hours a day. For 7 days a week. There is certainly enough crap in our urban core to make weekend shifts a must!
These special inner-city garbage guys and gals may have to go to the same inner-city street corner every day FOREVER to pick up the new trash dumped on that particular day. Who cares? You can’t put a price tag on a lovely looking city. A clean city. Trust me: These folks will be worth their weight in gold!
Free yellow trash bags for the working poor. NOT welfare recipients. PEOPLE WHO ARE PLAYING BY THE RULES AND STRUGGLING TO KEEP A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS. Ten bucks is a lot if you are working full-time at ACAP and renting an apartment in Worcester and trying to pay all your bills.
Easier and less expensive ways to dispose of junked furniture etc at the Quinsig Village dump
Put ALL CLOTHING DONATION BOXES AT THE CITY LANDFILL. GET THEM OUT OF BUSINESS PARKING LOTS, OFF WORCESTER SIDEWALKS. People are abusing the situation.
HUGE FINES for businesses and landlords whose properties, for whatever reasons, have become garbage-magnets. We can think of three businesses right off the top of our head. I’m certain you can too! They stay bold and do nothing because they figure the city is too busy with other stuff. City leaders need to tamp down on these folks – make them take responsibility for the restaurateurs they’re renting their space to…make them put in a dumpster if they have several sketchy apartment situations in their building…
OUR GARBAGE PROBLEM IS NOT JUST A D 4 ISSUE. IT IS A CITY ISSUE in that it impacts DEVELOPMENT IN OUR URBAN CORE – keeps potentially solid renters and home buyers from wanting to come into our inner city and actually make a commitment to a good chunk of Worcester – to live and raise their families on our streets.
Streets filled with very cool old Victorians, three deckers and older apartment buildings, I might add!
And lots of very nice people doing the best they can, under not so hot circumstances.