PAWTUCKET – New city policies aimed at making Pawtucket a cleaner place and reducing complaints about dumped items are set to go to the City Council’s ordinance subcommittee.

The changes on bulky waste clarify that such waste must be scheduled for pickup with the Department of Public Works and sets fines related to violations, according to Public Works Director David Clemente.

A new standard operating procedure will set expectations and create a system for addressing items left illegally at the curb. The changes essentially loop in the Department of Public Works for immediate responses instead of just having it be a function of zoning.

To accommodate the changes, the DPW is proposing the addition of a stake body truck with lift and two positions to help keep up with the problem.

Bulky waste monitoring will be on a two-week rotation. In week one, the crew will follow the trash collection routes, picking up any unscheduled bulky waste on city sidewalks along with any emergency requests that come up.

Week two will be slightly modified, with the crew following the same process as week one for Mondays and Tuesdays, but then one employee moving on Wednesday to Friday to inspect recyclable materials for contamination and helping zoning in the fining of violators. The other employee will be used elsewhere in the DPW, including for graffiti removal and sign repairs, all part of an effort to enhance the overall look of the city. Days could be modified slightly based on hot spots of contaminated loads that pop up from time to time, say officials.

The new employees will be cooperating with zoning by documenting and writing fines for both bulky waste violations and recycling violations.

Under the policy, bulky waste items must be scheduled with the DPW and the appropriate fees paid prior to pickups being done. It sets limits on number of items for residential homes of various sizes, including on refrigerators, water coolers, TVs, mattresses and box springs.

Violations for not scheduling pickups with the DPW would result in fines of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $400 for the third or subsequent offense.

The city will keep its process for having MTG Disposal grab bulky waste items, as it’s done since outsourcing trash collection, said Chief of Staff Dylan Zelazo. These changes deal with people who don’t schedule pickups either because they haven’t gotten the message about the rules or they choose to ignore them.

As crews grab items left out, the offending residents will be fined as it’s discovered that they’re not on the list for pickup, Zelazo said, recouping some of the money spent on the positions. The hope, he said, is that people who aren’t complying now start doing so. People shouldn’t have to look at old furniture for weeks on end, he said.

This situation has been a priority of the City Council, he said, as residents have continually thrown out items without appointments. The expectation is that this change will resolve many of the complaints that have been coming from neighbors of the properties, he said.

(2) comments


Two weeks ago, my fairly full recycling bin was left tipped over in the street, with recycling that had fallen out onto the street. I could see that both sides of the street had been picked up already. I refilled the bin and put it back in position but no one came back. I didn’t call about it. Today both bins were emptied but as usual were left in the street - one was on its side. I have yet to figure out why the bins are left several feet out in the street, but they usually are. I love the mechanical pickup and the (relatively) new bins but really, they leave a road hazard behind. Thanks


So here we go again Pawtucket, trying to solve a problem by means of punitive measures rather than just solving the problem. There are economic issues here as well as language barriers and cultural differences. If you think for one minute that two men and a truck are going to be paid for by fines then I’m sure there's a nice bridge somewhere you could buy.

“Violations for not scheduling pickups with the DPW would result in fines of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $400 for the third or subsequent offense.”

This is where the plan gets a little murky. What about multi family properties? How will you know who left the bulky item? Who will the city hold responsible if a tenant moves out and leaves an item on the sidewalk? Also, and I have had this happen, what if an item magically appears in front of your home overnight?

I went to the Pawtucket website and buried in a not so prominent location is a list of trash rules. “Under Automatic Trash Collection” I found this “Question: How do I dispose of bulky waste?

Answer: Bulky waste will be collected every Thursday by appointment. Please call DPW to schedule the bulky waste pick up. DPW can be contacted at or 401.728.0500 x 233.”

I found this under Trash/Recycling Collections “M. Furniture must be scheduled for pickup with the Department of Public Works. Residents will be allowed to place three (3) pieces of furniture out per week. These collections will occur on each Thursday (adjusted for holidays) of the week. Please call 401-728-0500 ext. 233 to schedule these collections.”

This is a city ordinance (in part) :

§ 347-14.1

Bulky waste pickup rates.

[Added 5-10-2007 by Ch. No. 2842; amended 6-14-2011 by Ch. No. 2969]

Bulky waste pickups by the City of Pawtucket will be free of charge unless they exceed the limits. The following are the limits for items and the charges for pickups over the allowable limit:

Another Thanksgiving and there are two piles of bulk waste on my street.Pawtucket just do your job and pick up the trash, bulk or otherwise. Stop criminalizing citizens for not understanding the hidden rules or having the means to even find those rules.

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