Trash left behind by panhandlers creating a mess on city streets

Hampden County

The panhandling population is growing in western Massachusetts, but they often leave a mess behind.

It depends on where they are. If its city property, then the Public Works Department is responsible.

22News has received emails from viewers who noticed panhandlers leaving trash at the spot where they ask strangers for cash. 22News noticed trash scattered near where the panhandlers stand.

Not far from 22News, at the end of the I-391 off-ramp, we noticed, a “courteous” panhandler secure this trash bag to a state highway sign.

Depending on where the trash falls, the city could be responsible.

“The DPW would go out for that,” said Benjamin Strepka, assistant to Superintendent of Chicopee’s DPW.  “We have sweepers going through major downtown intersections, at least, once a week.”

Now if the trash lands on a state roadway, then the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is responsible for the cleanup.

MassDOT said it removes litter from nearly 10,000 miles of roadway.

No one should litter. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but If you’re caught, the fine for a first offense is $5,500.

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