New city trash bins help Holyoke panhandlers keep streets clean

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The panhandling population is growing in western Massachusetts, and they often leave a mess behind.

“Other than myself and my husband, a lot of them are slobs and they don’t always take their stuff with them when they leave.”

Panhandlers DJ Bradford and his wife Cristina Merrill panhandle on Dwight Street quite often. They said they always try to keep their area clean even though others don’t always do the same.

The City of Holyoke has placed trash bins in popular panhandling areas across the city.22News shot video of trash bins that were chained to signs on Dwight Street and Holyoke Street.

Merrill said she and her husband have been using that bin to keep Dwight Street clean since it was first placed there two weeks ago.

“When we’re standing there and there is a pile of trash it looks like it’s from us, so we like to keep it clean and make a living,” Merrill said.

If trash is left on city property, then the public works department is responsible. 

“It’s less hassle for us to just pick it up, plus who wants to be standing around in a bunch of trash,” Bradford said.

22News left messages for the Holyoke DPW and City Hall but we are still waiting to hear back.

Do you think this will help keep the areas clean? Comment below.

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