Saugus co. steps up, cleans street

SAUGUS – When darkness falls on Fairmount Avenue, cars and trucks maneuver the winding road, stopping briefly to look around before illegally dumping trash.Both sides of the narrow avenue, which roughly connects Walnut Street to Boston Street in Lynn, are often strewn with discarded couches, appliances, tires and plastic bags containing a mix of garbage and unwanted items.The sight has been getting to Leo Guarante, a Fairmount Avenue resident and owner of Junk Depot, a small clean-out company with a fleet of four trucks and access to other heavy equipment. On Thursday, Guarante parked his trucks along the road and, using a Bob Cat and the manual labor of six employees, spent hours making Fairmount Avenue more respectable. The cost of his service: free.”I wanted to do it. I was tired of looking at all the trash,” he said. “By the end we had collected two tons of trash in the trucks and 15 large bags of papers and cups and bottles strewn along the road.”The trucks brought their cargo to Wood Waste of Boston in Everett. “We donated the time, the equipment and we even paid for the dumping fees,” he said, noting the Bob Cat was loaned by G&J Towing. “I think we got 98 percent of the trash that was down there, all the big stuff and all the spot trash, everything from toilets, couches and chairs to car times and broken televisions.”Town Manager Andrew Bisignani, Fire Chief James Blanchard, Police Chief Domenic Dimella, state Rep. Donald Wong and other officials observed the clean up.Bisignani said the town is stepping up its trash enforcement initiatives in an effort to reduce the town’s overall disposal costs. Changes about to go into effect will limit residents to two barrels of trash put at curbside per week, he said.”When people exceed the number of barrels, they don’t want to pay, so they just throw it down the street,” said Guarante, acknowledging it’s difficult to catch illegal dumpers. “Fairmount Avenue has no people and no houses in certain areas, so the ones doing the dumping pull up after dark, take a quick look around to make sure nobody can see them from their windows, and they toss it.”Guarante grew up in Chelsea. He moved to Saugus about six years ago. “I used to work for Total Sanitation. That’s how I learned the trash business and then I started my own about a year and a half ago,” he said.

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