Walpole St Trash on Google Satellite View

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Just for kicks I decided to see how the CSX trash situation on the Walpole St. overpass in Worcester, MA looked on google maps. As I suspected the satellite view shows what appear to be couches and mattresses as well as a disgusting amount regular random trash.

So I followed up and called the phone # that Kate Toomey provided on Facebook, they directed me to another number which was the nuisance line for housing. The guy who answered the phone was a bit gruff and once I said I had a complaint he demanded to know who he was speaking to. I told him I wanted to report illegal dumping on the CSX tracks on Walpole St at Gates. To which he responded "Oh yeah, that's a troublespot" and he said that "an inspector would be out tomorrow" which to me begs a couple questions.

So Inspection Services confirms this is a known trouble area, however a sweep of the debris and bulk items in this area have never been made in the 3 years I have lived here. As I said last summer they sort of piled some stuff up and moved some chairs, and desks and other general debris under the overpass so it was a bit more "out of sight" that is the only thing that CSX has ever done in the area to removal the blight.

And to clarify our building HAS been pretty darn diligent about calling in complaints in the past. This certainly was not the first time we ever raised the issue. I know one time last week at least half a dozen of us called in one week and that got someone out to "have a look".

Kate mentions CSX using using surveillance in the future. I have been hearing that story for at least 16 months. Last summer another building Trustee as well as myself stood on those very tracks with Barbara Haller talking about this very subject. in 2008 and 2009 I would sometimes attend the Main South CDC meetings and would mention the dumping. I know of an owner on the first floor who has called police at least 10 times over the past 3 years about dumping at that corner as it was occurring. I just want to make it perfectly clear to folks that this has been a constant and ongoing issue that the city and CSX are aware of.

And finally I will say that Kate's response in no way formed a resolution. She lauded CSX for spending a whopping $54 a day on cleanup the past 5 years. Informed me that the trash was dumped there "ILLEGALLY by individuals" (no shit sherlock) and then talks about how to stop illegal dumping. That is all well and good but still no ideas or solutions were provided about cleaning up the illegal dumping that has already occurred.

Sorry to brake the news to you but this city and Main South in particular is filled with a cash strapped demographic that are ignorant, under educated, unemployed and living paycheck to paycheck. Or should I say government check to government check. These people are too busy buying booze, drugs and McDonald's to buy city trash bags and would rather just toss their stuff over an overpass. We had to lock down our dumpsters last summer because people were coming from Crystal st to dump their trash in our dumpster rather than pay the city bag fee.

So who is responsible to pick up after these scumbags trashing the neighborhood?
CSX or the City of Worcester?


Kate Toomey said...

Neil, I would be happy to speak with you personally about this issue either on the phone or in person. I have to disagree with your statement that I lauded CSX on their expenditures to date of the cleanup. I merely made a statement which repeated their response. My cell phone is 508-963-9315

Unknown said...

Hey! It's nice to see that someone else cares about the city - and in particularly about trash and dumping. Another person to talk to is Nicole (http://nicolecommawoo.wordpress.com/) who has been dealing with illegal dumping at God's Acre for the last couple of years. She could give you some tips on how to handle the people who do it and who in the city government to complain to. There's a nice article about her and her recent clean-up in last week's TelegramTowns. I support your vigilance on this issue.

Nicole said...

One thing I've found that has worked for me is having both a concrete set of wants (e.g., a camera in location X) and also a willingness to put in a little physical effort to get something done.

You've said that the only people legally allowed on the tracks are CSX employees. I would recommend asking them to pick up the trash by a certain date (a month or two in the future). Let them know that if it isn't done by that time, you will climb over the fence, bag/collect stuff, and leave it in a certain location.

I have found that threats of civil disobedience are effective (as long as you're willing to act on the threat).

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