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Boston to Trash Scofflaws: Don't Dump on Us

Mayor Menino launched his entirely laudable "Boston Shines" volunteer effort this past weekend, enlisting concerned locals to clean up parks, plazas, etc. But The Herald launched a little effort of its own to identify the many landlords who litter without consequence. The tabloid, in fact, found a dozen landlords who collectively owe the city $111,000 in unpaid trash fines at a total of 19 properties. There's a big offender along the 800 block of Huntington Avenue. Others can be found here.

Michael Mackin, chief of ISD’s code enforcement division, said most of the fines issued by his inspectors are for overloaded trash barrels, yard debris, putting banned items in the trash or other “chronic” trash violations. While the deadbeats are frustrating, he said a 2010 law that allowed the city to tack unpaid ISD fines onto tax bills has gotten landlords’ attention. Boston's an interesting place trash-wise. Pristine historic stretches, blocks of uncommon urban beauty (and not just in a handful of more affluent neighborhoods), serious attention to public open space. Then along comes some neglected triple-decker with an overflowing rat's nest just off the sidewalk—perhaps, in fact, a triple-decker the city might be helping to preserve. Either way, Boston seems to get it, with a renewed crackdown on absentee landlords accompanying the past weekend's volunteer cleanup drive.

· Hub Fines Properties Lost in High Weeds [Herald]
· Spare a Thought for the Triple-Decker—Effort to Save Icon [Curbed Boston]

[A row of triple-deckers; note the orderly garbage cans, bottom left]