Did you know that street sweeping conducted by the City of Boston only extends from April 1-Nov. 30? This leaves four months out of the year for citizens of Charlestown to do our part. With close to two months having passed since our last street cleaning, one can see how unsightly our streets have become.
On Sunday, Jan. 27, more than 22 members of CharlestownDogs met at Zume’s Coffee Shop on Main Street with the goal of cleaning our town streets. Today, it can be hard to motivate people to engage in any type of community service, particularly when it involves picking up garbage. So we reached out to Zume’s to see if they could help encourage participation by contributing coffee or tea. Gratefully, they agreed to be our primary sponsor and were supportive beyond words. As we headed out with warm coffee and tea to take the edge off a cold morning, John (owner of Zume’s) unexpectedly offered Zume’s hoodies to keep us warm. Each member of CharlestownDogs left Zume’s with a trash bag, sanitary gloves, trash picker, and the love and support of our community. With our small group of volunteers, we did our best but were only able to clean a subset of Charlestown streets. As the “sweep” concluded, we filled over 22 bags of garbage. Commonly found items included: cigarette boxes, alcohol nips, aluminum cans (mostly beer), broken glass, water bottles, parking tickets, and newspapers. Less common items included, broken snow scrappers, reading glasses, single mittens, etc. And even less common sights were neglected dog droppings, which means that our dog waste stations are making a difference in this town. The CharlestownDogs Clean Sweep event was a huge success and we really felt our community’s love and support. Numerous cars gave honks in appreciation, shop owners opened their doors to say thank you, and tourists even stopped us to say how admirable it was that we had a community group to do this work. We have two more months before the City of Boston resumes their street sweeping. Going forward, we encourage all of Charlestown to lend a helping hand by cleaning your street. Picking up front of your house, condo, or apartment will take less than five minutes and 30 minutes or less for your entire street. If everyone did this, our streets will be sparkling! If you accept our challenge and head out to “sweep your street,” make sure to take a picture of your garbage collection and tag us on social media (@charlestowndogs, #charlestowndogs). And of course, consider joining us on our next sweep. Believe it or not, it’s actually fun to spend time with your neighbors doing something good for the community.