Health Commissioner Sigalle Reiss and Department of Public Works Commissioner Erin Chute report that the Brookline Department of Public Health & Human Services and the Department of Public Works have released the final revised Solid Waste Regulations: Regulations Governing the Handling, Storage, Collection and Disposal of Waste.
The Solid Waste Regulations were last revised in 1998, and the departments worked collaboratively to update them in order to provide greater clarity, more controls pertaining to solid waste storage, placement and security, and accountability for private waste haulers. In addition, the revised regulations require that address and hauler contact information are provided on all dumpsters so that the Town can more easily communicate with residents and businesses when there is a problem. Other changes include aligning the regulations with updated State Sanitary Code language and strengthening violations and enforcement language.
The updated regulations are a component of the overall Rodent Control Action Plan as a comprehensive and collaborative approach to mitigate the impact of rodents in Brookline. While rat activity has been a long-standing issue in many communities across the country, it increased during and following the pandemic causing significant concern among Brookline residents. Solid waste that is inappropriately stored, handled and collected contributes to rodent activity by providing food sources.
As part of the revision process the draft regulations were reviewed and approved by both the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (September 05, 2023) and Advisory Council on Public Health (September 20, 2023) at public hearings and then subsequently approved by the Select Board (October 24, 2023). The draft was also presented at the Small Business Development Committee for feedback.
Regulations can be found on the Public Health & Human Services Department website here.