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Mayor reminds community of responsibility to keep city clean

Posted on March 27, 2023

With warmer days ahead, I want to remind the community (residents and businesses alike) of our shared responsibility to keep our city clean. This is extremely important, not only because it’s required by our city laws but because it’s the right thing to do for each other and for our environment.

This means making sure the areas of which you occupy and/or own are free and clear from trash, debris, and vegetation overgrowth including at common areas such as adjacent sidewalks, grass strips, rights-of-way to the edge of the surface of the vehicular travel-way of any public street, and one-half of alley. Speaking of alleys, alleys are not owned or maintained by the city. Alleyways are the responsibility of property owners that abut them. Please be sure to work together with your neighbors to keep alley-ways clean. Also, if you occupy and/or own space next to a sewer grate, make sure it’s free and clear of trash and debris so storm water can flow properly and avoid floods.

The Flex Squad has been doing regular sweeps block by block on the weekends and citing property owners that have properties in conflict with the city local laws. We have made a lot progress in changing the culture to date and I hope we can continue to work together and build on our successes.

Additionally, we have been working with stakeholders and a consultant to evaluate our trash and recycling practices and draft recommendations. Soon, the city will be executing a public outreach and education campaign regarding implementation of recommendations to improve our recycling and municipal solid waste program.

The following are Holyoke’s city ordinance that requires property owners to keep their areas clean. Property owners that do not keep up with their obligation will be cited.

Please help spread the word and let’s work together to keep our city clean!

Holyoke City Ordinances

  • Section 74-2 (f)(1): Property to be kept clean – “All owners of commercial, professional, industrial, multifamily and residential property must maintain said property, and occupants and business tenants must keep the premises they occupy, as well as common areas, including adjacent sidewalks, grass strips, one-half of alley, and rights-of-way to the edge of the surface of the vehicular travelway of any public street, in a clean and litter-free manner. Rubbish, refuse or other litter on any property must be removed by the owner, occupants and/or business tenants.”
  • Section 74-98: Duty to maintain private property free of litter; duty to cut vegetation – “The owner or person in control of any private property shall at all times maintain his premises, as well as the sidewalk in front of his premises, free of litter so that the same does not constitute a danger to the public health, safety and welfare. The owner or person in control of any private property shall maintain and cut all vegetation, to a maximum of six inches, which constitutes a rodent harborage area or a public health hazard.”

Holyoke residents who need to dispose large household items:

  • RENTERS: If a renter, you can get a card that’s good for 1 year at the DPW to dispose of your trash. You’ll need to bring a lease agreement and recent utility bill (so they know you reside in the city), license/valid state ID and have to pay a $10.00 fee.
  • HOMEOWNERS: If a homeowner, you can get a card for disposal of trash at the DPW that does not expire. You’ll need to confirm that your sewer account and tax bill reflect your name. You’ll need to bring a license/valid state ID.

An important reminder:  please make sure that with the proper disposal of your trash, you separate your recyclables as required by ordinance.  For more information on how to separate your paper from cans and containers, visit the DPW webpage at:

Who to Contact

  • Visit the city website at to report an issue.
  • Download the SeeClickFix app on your mobile device to report an issue.
  • Call the Board of Health – (413) 322-5595
  • Call the Building Department – (413) 322-5600
  • Call the License Board – (413) 322-5599
  • Call the DPW – (413) 322-5645
  • Call the Fire Department – (413) 534-2250
  • Call the Police Department – (413) 322-6901
  • And when all fails, call me at the Mayor’s Office – (413) 561-1600


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