By Michael Coughlin Jr.
During the Gove Street Citizens Association’s monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 23, East Boston’s Liaison Nathalia Benitez shared some updates residents should be aware of as 2023 rolls on.
One of Benitez’s most important updates came as a reminder regarding the City of Boston’s newest way to dispose of mattresses.
“Starting in January, the City of Boston requires an appointment for collection of all mattresses and box springs,” said Benitez.
The city accepts memory foam, box springs, innerspring, hybrid, latex, and air beds. However, the city is not accepting futons as part of the new disposal appointments.
To set up a mattress pick-up, residents can call 311. Currently, the 311 app does not have the capability to make these appointments; however, it is something the city is working on.
“Because we just launched it, we are only doing phone calls for now. The way the mattresses are picked up are by a recycling team, so if you were to just do a trash pick-up ticket on the 311 app, it would take them to public works, and public works will pick it up as trash, and that’s not what we want,” said Benitez.
“So we are trying to troubleshoot the data to make sure that it’s going through the proper channels so it can actually get recycled.”
The new disposal system ensures that some of the mattresses and box springs will be donated for reuse or recycled for materials such as insulation, carpet padding, and more.
For more information on mattress disposal, residents can visit https://content.boston.gov/departments/public-works/mattress-recycling.
“We are very excited to be launching this service starting this year,” said Benitez.
Along with mattresses having a new disposal system, so do clothing and textiles. Accepted clothing and textiles can be left at designated drop-off boxes – East Boston’s is at 166 London Street – or an appointment can be made for curbside pick-up.
To make an appointment and for more information on this disposal system, residents can visit https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-works/recycling-clothing-and-textiles.
“We are really, really encouraging people to recycle textiles, so they don’t end up in landfills,” said Benitez.
As for other updates, the East Boston neighborhood newsletter is returning after a brief hiatus due to the lack of a communications person in office.
With a new Communication Chief Officer, the newsletter is slated to return this week; Benitez indicated the release would probably happen by Friday.
Not only will the newsletter make a return with both an English and Spanish version, but it will also include a new section called “Spotlights,” which, according to Benitez, will probably start in the next two weeks.
“It’s [Spotlights] going to be a forum where residents in the community can basically nominate businesses and neighbors for a special spotlight. We want to have people involved in letting us know what they like about the residents and the many, many amazing businesses we have in the area,” said Benitez.
To subscribe to the newsletter, visit https://newsletters.boston.gov/subscribe.
Finally, as winter continues and with the recent snow, Benitez reminded residents to use 311 for non-emergency issues during storms and to report things like fire hydrants or handicap ramps covered in snow.
“The city is also requesting that residents wait for three hours after the snowfall before you call 311. As you can imagine, our lines often get tied up with the increase of calls from residents,” said Benitez.
“So if you have any trouble getting in contact with one of our live team members, we encourage you to download the 311 app on your smartphone.”
Upon completing her updates, Benitez mentioned ways to get in touch with her in person to speak about issues or concerns, such as her coffee Fridays.
“If you want to meet up in person and have a coffee and talk about issues, I am more than happy to do so,” said Benitez.
Benitez can also be reached via email at [email protected].