How Public Works helps the City
Our department provides a number of services to residents, visitors, and businesses every day.
Still have questions? Contact:
Highway Field Operations Division
We work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to care for the City’s streets and sidewalks.
We run the City’s street cleaning program and fix potholes, and empty out litter baskets and pick up trash around the City. During snowstorms, we plow and de-ice all public streets in the City. We also clean and paint the Freedom Trail and organize neighborhood cleanups.
Construction Management Division
We repair and restore roads, sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, and work with utility companies.
You can read the Active Utility Construction report at the bottom of the Public Works page to learn about construction in your neighborhood. You can also search active construction data. If the City or a private company makes an asphalt patch, they need to use a Utility Repair Tag Marker.
Waste Reduction Division
We pick up residents’ trash, recyclable materials, and any leaf and yard waste.
We take leaf and yard waste from April to December. If you’re a Boston resident, we offer discounts on compost bins. From May through August, we provide surplus paint swaps and dropoffs for used motor oil. We have more about your trash schedule, as well as a trash and recycling guide.
Street Lighting Division
We protect and fix all lighting systems that the City controls.
We have final say on any lighting projects on City streets. We also are working to convert all street lights to LED. Learn how to fix common issues with streetlights.
We manage projects that are total reconstructions of Boston streets or sidewalks.
We also inspect bridges and help coordinate bridge reconstructions. You can now search historic engineering plans online. We resurface roads from April 1 to November 30. You can see a list of streets the City plans to resurface.
We give permits to businesses and residents who need to take up space or do work on City streets or sidewalks.
We’re located at Room 715 in City Hall. That’s where we collect payments and hand out permits. Looking for a specific permit or application? We have more information about our common forms, permits, and applications.