City councilors from across the city said today their constituents are complaining about the seemingly unstoppable onslaught of plastic-sheathed Globe Direct ads.
"These bags are everywhere," City Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) said at a council meeting today. "Lawns, hedges, porches, steps."
The council agreed with McCarthy's request for a hearing at which residents and city officials can complain about the circulars and the Globe subsidiary can explain itself. Separately, City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain0 chairs a Clean Boston Task Force meeting at 4 p.m. tomorrow in City Hall at which Globe Direct is expected to be a major topic of discussion - O'Malley said Globe Direct ads have become the number-one cleanliness complaint in residential areas.
McCarthy explained how the circulars are a public-safety menace: Boston is a city of snowbirds, who spend long vacations down south in the winter, but because Globe Direct simply refuses to acknowledge many requests to stop deliveries, the things pile up on the residents' porches, becoming a beacon to would-be housebreakers looking for easy pickings. "Nothing says I'm not home more than 15 or 20 Globe Direct bags on your porch," he said.
He added the city shouldn't be forced to clean up after Globe Direct, especially in the winter, when they become trash "shot out of snowblowers."
"It's just ridiculous," City Councilor Sal LaMattina (East Boston, Charlestown, North End) agreed. LaMattina said he's been hearing complaints for more than a year and trying without success to get Globe Direct to behave itself. "It's just a blight," he said.
He noted Globe Direct recently agreed to take steps in Cambridge to reduce delivery of unwanted circulars.
Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) agreed "it's an urgent issue" and said it's particularly obnoxious for the ad bags to pile up on the porches of foreclosed houses. He added he also wants something done about the proliferation of "Sell your house for cash" signs, which he said "communicated something negative in our neighborhoods."