Category Archives: DPW

DPW Is Sprucing Up Melrose for Spring!

Spring is here! DPW is out planting trees and hanging flags and flowers. Enjoy spring, Melrose! Feel free to call DPW at 781-665-0142 with ways we can help.

Community Cleanup to take place on Saturday May 6

On Saturday May 6 from 9 am to noon, the Melrose Recycling Committee will sponsor a cleanup of public spaces throughout the city. The event will be held in conjunction with the Ell Pond Committee’s annual cleanup and restoration of the Ell Pond area during the same time period. Volunteers should gather at the Memorial Knoll shoreline across from the middle school.

With the support of the Melrose Department of Public Works, the Recycling Committee will be providing plastic gloves and trash bags and will be leading groups to clean up public spaces in Melrose, such as the Middle School and the High School grounds, the Commons, the skateboard park. Additional cleanup targets will depend on the number of volunteers who participate. The Recycling Committee will also be providing information on its ongoing BYOB (“Bring Your Own Bag”) initiative.

MRC’s community cleanup had previously been part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January, but has been moved to the spring to facilitate a more thorough cleanup.

The rain date for the event will be Sunday May 7.

The Recycling Committee meets the first Thursday of every month, typically at the library. New members are welcome; call 781-775-5058 for more information.

MWRA and DPW Partner in our Schools

Reliable access to unlimited amounts of clean tap water is something that all Melrosians rely on every day, and the extensive infrastructure and people power that makes this immense feat possible is easy to take for granted in our community. This month, Melrose’s Department of Public Works (DPW) partnered with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to bring a free hands-on workshop to 3rd graders at all of Melrose’s public elementary schools. Students – acting as city planners, engineers, DPW employees and building owners – learned how tap water gets brought over 65 miles from the Quabbin Reservoir to every resident in Melrose, and 50 other cities and towns in the state, through collaboration between MWRA and DPW.

Meg Tobacsko, MWRA School Education Program Director, developed and taught this hands-on curriculum, in which students examined real world problems (such as how the properties of water affect the design and maintenance of the infrastructure that is used to deliver it to our city buildings). Students also demonstrated their understanding of concepts like estimation by actually building a model water distribution system with a series of “pipes” fashioned from cardboard tubes and plastic drinking straws connecting the large MWRA pipes to the smaller city pipes to the very small privately-owned service lines to each of their “buildings.” Students also worked through real life word problems, including using math skills to determine how many years it took to fill the Quabbin Reservoir (it took 7 years from when rain, rivers and runoff first began to flow into the reservoir in 1939!).

“Working with the kids was really fun and we were actually really impressed by how much they knew about the pipes under our streets and how water gets to your house and sink.” said Matty Hickey, DPW’s Water & Sewer Division Foreman of 45 years, who attended classes at the Lincoln and Roosevelt Elementary Schools along with City Engineer, Elena Proakis-Ellis. DPW Recycling Coordinator, Sadie Brown (whose grandfather rebuilt and raised a family in one of the houses that had to be moved from Enfield, one of the 4 towns flooded to make the Quabbin Reservoir) also attended classes at Hoover and Winthrop.

The relevance of the material covered in these lessons was not lost on the students, many of whom sipped from reusable bottles that they refill daily from the water bottle filling stations that have recently been installed by DPW in all Melrose public schools. These convenient amenities enable students, teachers and administrative staff to utilize the clean, free water provided to Melrose by MWRA to refill their reusable water bottles, thus reducing waste generated by single use plastic water bottles. “DPW infrastructure is present in so many aspects of daily activities children take part in. This was a great opportunity to help them understand the manner in which water gets to your home in a simple way and also give them the opportunity to learn some fun facts about the precious resource water is,” said DPW Director John Scenna.

In addition to this “Building the System” workshop, MWRA offers a series of other free lessons for various grade levels (elementary through high school). If you are a parent or teacher here in Melrose and think your children would enjoy learning about the essential services provided by MWRA and DPW please get in touch with Sadie ( or 781-665-0142 x18).

DPW Welcomes Spring!

April is the month that we (hopefully) say goodbye to snow and welcome the return of spring. Melrose DPW celebrates the changing seasons by cleaning and storing our snow equipment and resuming a variety of services and events for residents:

  • Saturday April 1st from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Saturday hours resume at the City Yard Recycling Center. Details on what items DPW accepts can be found in a chart at the bottom of this page of the city website.
  • Week of April 10th: Curbside yard waste pickup resumes (and continues every other week through the month of June). Details and a link to the schedule can be found here.
  • Saturday, April 15th from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Paper Shredding event for residents. First box free, each additional box $5. Details and event flier can be found here.
  • Now through May 8th: Backyard compost bins and rain barrels on sale to Melrose residents (at or below market value). Details can be found here.

Please contact the Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator, Sadie Brown, with any questions;; 781-665-0142 x18.

Snow Update: Schools Open Tomorrow with a Two-Hour Delay

The Melrose Public schools will be open tomorrow with a two-hour delay

  • Melrose High School and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School will open at 9:45 a.m.
  • All elementary schools will open at 10:15 a.m.
  • Trash and recycling will be picked up tomorrow and will be on a one-day delay for the rest of the week.
  • Melrose City Hall, Public Library, and Council on Aging will all open at their regular times.
  • The citywide parking ban will be lifted at 6 a.m.
  • Area communities are experiencing power outages. If you experience a power outage, please call the National Grid Customer Service Line at 1-800-322-3223 or the Outage Reporting Line at 1-800-465-1212.
  • Important message from Melrose DPW: Please do not blow snow into the street. It is not only against city ordinance (and you could be fined) but you are preventing proper cleanup and putting your neighbors at risk.

If you have any snow concerns or questions please contact the Snow Operations Center, which will be open throughout the evening, at 781-665-0142.

Snow Update, March 14, 2017

It looks like the worst of the snowstorm is over, but be careful as the snow is wet and heavy. DPW is out working throughout the city. If you have any snow-related problems or questions, call the DPW Storm Operations Center at 781-665-0142.

Tonight is a great night to stay in and watch Chronicle—the Melrose episode is scheduled to be re-run tonight at 7:30 on WCVB TV, Channel 5.

Snow Update: March 13, 2017—Preparing for the Storm

We’re expecting a big snowstorm on Tuesday, March 14. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. City Hall will be closed on March 14. All operations will be moved to the the City Yard Storm Center  at 781-665-0142.
  2. A city-wide on-street parking ban will go into effect at noon on March 14. This ban will apply to both commercial and residential areas.
  3. Trash and Recycling curbside collection will not take place tomorrow. All collection routes will be on holiday schedule, one day delay. (Tuesday collections will take place on Wednesday, Wednesday on Thursday, Thursday on Friday and Friday on Saturday.)
  4. All municipal meetings scheduled for Tuesday evening, including the School Committee meeting, are cancelled.
  5. The Melrose Public Library, the Milano Senior Center, and Wyoming Cemetery will be closed.
  6. The Superintendent of Schools will make a decision regarding school in the next few hours.
  7. If you want to hire a high school student to shovel your property, here is this year’s shoveler’s list.
  8. To report a power outage, please call the National Grid Customer Service Line at 1-800-322-3223 or the Outage Reporting Line at 1-800-465-1212.
  9. For all questions or problems regarding snow, please call 781-665-0142.

Snow Update for February 14, 2017

As cleanup continues from this past storm, I wanted to offer an update as to where the City is currently focusing our cleanup efforts.

First, today we will be removing snow from major parking lots in the downtown business districts to alleviate congestion and open up valuable parking spaces for dining and shopping.

Second, DPW throughout the day yesterday and today have been clearing corners at major intersections as well as opening crosswalks in heavily travelled pedestrian areas throughout all business districts. This work has already been completed at school campuses as well as dozens of intersections that are adjacent to schools.

Third, moving forward DPW will be creating openings through snow banks to allow access from on street parking to the sidewalks in major business districts to improve safety for those going into local businesses.

If you have any questions or problems, please call our Snow Operations Center at 781-665-0142.

Snow Update for Monday, February 13: No School

We are expecting another 8 inches of snow between this evening and tomorrow morning, accompanied by winds between 30 and 50 mph. Please use extreme caution during the morning commute. All available equipment will be working in the City of Melrose tonight, but please expect delays and treacherous conditions tomorrow, with the ccmobination of heavy snow and high wind.

  • There will be no school in the City of Melrose on Monday.
  • Melrose City Hall will open at 12 noon.
  • All snow operations will be run out of the Melrose City Yard, 781-665-0142.
  • The Melrose Public Library, the Council on Aging, and the Milano Senior Center will be closed.
  • Trash will be on a holiday schedule with no pickup on Monday. Monday trash will be picked up on Tuesday, Tuesday trash on Wednesday, etc.
  • There will be an on-street parking ban starting at 8 p.m. this evening.

Thank you for your patience during this difficult stretch of weather. If you have any concerns regarding snow removal, contact the Snow Operations Center at 781-665-0142.

Important Information Regarding School Tomorrow

A false report has been made by the Melrose Patch that school has been canceled for tomorrow, February 13. This is not true as of this point.

No one from the Melrose Public Schools or the City of Melrose has contacted The Patch to announce a school cancellation. A decision will be made at a later time regarding school tomorrow.

Important information regarding the snowstorm:

  • Trash will be on a one-day delay this week: No pickup on Monday, one-day delay for the rest of the week.
  • An on-street parking ban will take effect citywide at 8 p.m.
  • All calls regarding snow issues should go to the Snow Operations Center, 781-665-0142.
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