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Town Of Brookline Takes Action To Improve Rodent Control


Poorly maintained dumpsters with holes, missing or loose lids, or overflowing trash are some of the worst violations of the Town’s Solid Waste Regulations. These oversights create an easily accessible food source for rodents, thus exacerbating an already challenging problem for the town. Poor storage and maintenance practices of regular trash and recycling toters also violate the state sanitary code and local regulations.


The Brookline Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Brookline Department of Public Works highlight new language in the Solid Waste Regulations that modifies dumpster use and maintenance standards within the Town of Brookline.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to review and adhere to the updated regulations and, in doing so, help the community address an important health issue. Violators will face potential enforcement actions and monetary penalties. The updated Solid Waste Regulations can be downloaded here

Here are some highlights of the changes specific to dumpsters:

  • Regular maintenance and upkeep must occur for each dumpster.
  • Direct action must be taken to ensure the dumpsters remain sanitary and free of pests.
  • There shall be no holes in the dumpsters themselves, and they must remain covered with a tight-fitting, heavy lid.
  • The Brookline Department of Public Health may require that specific dumpster sites be completely enclosed. 

These measures prevent odors and further mitigate rodent activity.

The updated regulations also require the name, address, and contact information of the owner, as well as the name of the permitted private hauler who services the dumpster, to be affixed on one side of every dumpster. All dumpsters must be placed on flat areas with smooth concrete or asphalt. They cannot be located on sites that block the view of traffic or on public property without prior approval.

Finally, dumpsters have to be large enough and serviced as frequently as necessary to prevent any likelihood of overflow or attracting pests. If the Brookline Department of Public Health deems a larger dumpster or more frequent pickups necessary, the change must be made promptly.

John King, the Town’s Environmental Health Supervisor, is available to answer any questions about the updated Solid Waste Regulations. He can be reached via e-mail at jking@brooklinema.gov or by phone at 617-879-4908.