City Council Takes Aim at Globe Direct

After getting complaints from residents, officials want to clean up the litter.

Photo by Steve Annear

Photo by Steve Annear

After fielding complaints from residents fed up with the clutter caused by unwanted “circulars” like Globe Direct, which are tossed on their doorsteps and walkways, City Councilor Tim McCarthy decided it was time to call for a hearing to address the matter.

In a request submitted this week, McCarthy said circular packages, which are usually wrapped in plastic bags, may be running “afoul of litter laws in Boston.” And if they’re not, the amount of disgruntled inquires he has handled in regards to the services at least warrants a discussion of some kind.

“Numerous local residents have complained about the circulars turning into litter when not retrieved, separated from the plastic packaging, delivered to residences without residents, or when separated by snow, rain, or wind,” McCarthy wrote in his proposal submitted to the City Council, adding that other municipalities have been monitoring the unsolicited deliveries to make sure they’re not breaking city guidelines.

In Cambridge, officials recently came to an agreement with Globe Direct, who seems to be one of the biggest offenders, and put in place a set of guidelines to help ease the tension between residents and the advertising service.

For months, Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub has been keeping tabs on people’s frustrations with Globe Direct‘s free advertisements, blogging about the build-up outside the homes of residents who have become aggravated with the company’s blatant disregard to requests to stop the barrage of paper-bombing.

If Universal Hub’s log of complaints isn’t enough to convince elected officials that the service has become a nuisance, they can always take a glance at the requests that get funneled through the city’s Citizens Complaint app, where dozens of angry pleas to stop the distribution have already been dealt with.

Or they could look at a snapshot of the reactions Boston residents have when Globe Direct hops on Twitter to ask how people feel about their services. Here’s a series of responses to their last Tweet: