Keep Worcester Clean Program

Foliage and Flowers around a Pond at the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial at Green Hill Park

Keep Worcester Clean (KWC) is a coordinated city-wide effort by multiple partners who work year-round cleaning litter and other debris such as abandoned vehicles, graffiti and more, from the streets and sidewalks. But they can't do it alone - residents who respect and value their community are the heart of the program. We must all work together to keep our city clean.

How You Can Help

We must all work together to Keep Worcester Clean. Here are some simple ways that you can help:

  • During the Fall Leaf Collection Program, rake leaves from the sidewalk to the edge of the street gutter. Once the street is posted with the leaf collection flyers, push the leaves into the gutter for collection.
  • During the Spring Sweeping Program, sweep winter sediment into the gutters on your street.
  • Illegal dumping is not only a nuisance, it carries a hefty fine. To dispose of bulk items properly, contact Worcester 311 for an appointment at the Millbury Street Residential Drop-Off & Recycling Center. For curbside pick-up with a per-item fee, you can call the City's recycling contractor, Casella Waste Management of Massachusetts, Inc. at 508-832-2349.
  • Report incidents of graffiti, missing street signs, abandoned vehicles, blocked catch basins, etc. to Worcester 311 by calling 311 or going online.
  • Set a good example and don’t litter! Keep a small trash bag in your vehicle for trash.
  • Set recyclables and trash at the curb between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on your scheduled collection day.
  • To avoid recyclables from blowing out of your bin, place heavier items on top.
  • Use designated trash receptacles in city parks. Receptacles are for litter, not household trash.

Please help keep our city clean!

  • To request services or report problems, call 311 or submit your request online through Worcester 311.

Adopt An Island

The Adopt An Island Program is a comprehensive clean up and awareness program, seeking support from all segments of the community. This program seeks sponsors and volunteers to work in partnership with the city and allows these sponsors to choose a traffic island or median that they can maintain and beautify.

The city cannot do it alone but with your help we can make a big difference. By adopting islands and working in partnership, we can make Worcester more beautiful than it already is. Adopting an island will allow sponsors the opportunity to help the city and show their pride in the community. We encourage all to participate and look forward to a variety of clean and colorful islands.

Traffic Island with Example of Signage
  • The adopted island can either be grass, concrete or asphalt. The sponsors can be individuals, a group, businesses, residents, young people or seniors; all are welcome.
  • Sponsors are responsible for the planting and maintenance of islands from April through November. Any dead plantings must be replaced and islands need to be weeded and cleaned as often as necessary.
  • The DPW & Parks will provide up to two (2) bags of mulch for small areas (while funding lasts) and allow compost material to be picked up at the Bulk Waste Drop-Off Center on Millbury Street at no cost.
  • Unfortunately, DPW cannot provide for watering of any plantings, so this must be done solely by the sponsors. Plantings, shrubs, small fences, stone, etc. will be paid for by the participants.
  • The City's appreciation will be shown by providing the sponsor a 2 foot by 2 foot sign with the sponsor's name to be prominently displayed on their adopted island, a letter of appreciation and an adoption certificate.

Learn more about the Do's and Don'ts of adopting a traffic island/median. Interested parties can fill out the application below or call the DPW Customer Service Center at 508-929-1300 with any questions.



Pile of Houeshold Trash on Sidewalk in Violation of City Ordinance

What NOT to do:

  • The trash in the photo was placed out a day early.
  • Both yellow bags have been ripped open and the contents will soon become litter.
  • The recycling bin contains items that are not recyclable.
  • Large items left on the curb are not only unsightly but a violation of City ordinance. Bulk items, including furniture, appliances and electronics can be dropped off by appointment at the Residential Drop-off Center. Call Worcester 311 to arrange an appointment at 311.
  • This location is along a busy street and intersection where many cars pass by daily. This is not the message we want to send as a city.

Please help #KeepWorcesterClean by following the trash and recycling policies.

Contact Information

Department of Public Works
20 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300
Fax: 508-799-1448
Email Us

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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