Holyoke mayor speaks out over trash issues in the city

Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia is speaking out and is asking property owners in the city to clean up their trash.
Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia is speaking out and is asking property owners in the city to clean up their trash. He said there are too many dumpsters in the city with overflowing garbage and it is littering the streets of the city.

“It’s not right. If you have trash, put it in a trash bag. Leave it around your house or outside your door, pick it up. You shouldn’t dump somewhere else,” said Nathan Privett of Holyoke.

People of Holyoke shared their thoughts with Western Mass News on Wednesday about an ongoing trash situation in the city.

“No littering, please. It’s a beautiful city. Holyoke, the city of love,” added Nathan Morales of Holyoke.

This was what one dumpster located off of Suffolk Street in Holyoke looked like when we stopped by on Wednesday afternoon. Brittany Moreland is the new property manager of the apartment building with that dumpster. She told us it is an issue that she is working on addressing.

“We’re getting bigger dumpsters back there, putting cameras back there to try and help,” Moreland said.

She said the garbage should be removed from the dumpsters by Thursday, but she added it’s not her tenant’s fault for the overflowing trash.

“All of the surrounding buildings kind of chuck stuff in there too. People are throwing mattresses back there, people are throwing pack and plays, couches back there. It’s not just a problem with this building. It’s a problem all over Holyoke,” Moreland added.

Moving forward, Moreland is hoping to work with Garcia and other property owners in the city to address the problem of people throwing garbage illegally into private property dumpsters. It is something Garcia said he is aware of.

“I know we also have an illegal dumping problem going on in the city. That’s not the problem of the property owner, but also, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to make sure we’re de-escalating that from happening,” Garcia explained.

He told us there are a lot of solutions for property owners to alleviate the issue.

“Hire a building maintenance supervisor and if that’s too much money, hire your residents in your building to maintain and keep up with the trash in your building,” Garcia noted.

Garcia also shared this message.

“Rubbish, refuse, or other litter on any property must be removed by the owner, occupants, and or business tenants. We have a culture here in the city where we’re not keeping up with this ordinance. We’re chasing our tails here in the city trying to hold property owners responsible. In order for us to effectively navigate this issue is it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation,” Garcia said.