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News in brief: Trash amnesty, free lunch and surveys

Brookline Town Hall. Photo by Clare Ong
August 27, 2023  Updated August 29, 2023 at 9:44 p.m.

Trash Amnesty week

The town is providing a “trash amnesty” pick up during the first week of September.

From Sept. 4-9 2023, residents who use town trash pickup services will be allowed to dispose of extra household waste and up to four bulky items along with their town-issued trash cart on their scheduled pickup day.

“Trash Amnesty Week provides Brookline residents with an opportunity to dispose of any extra waste without incurring a fee for overflow trash bags or bulky item collection. This bi-annual observance ensures all Brookline residents have access to responsible waste disposal services for their excess waste,” said the Department of Public Works in a news release.

Residents still need to call to schedule bulky item collection at least one week in advance.

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Free meals for Brookline students

Breakfast and lunch are now free for all students in Brookline, after Massachusetts recently passed a law becoming the eighth state in the country to permanently fund universal free meals.

However, the schools are still asking families which are eligible for free and reduced price meals to fill out an application, which you can do here.

“Income eligibility must be reestablished for all students each year. Free/reduced eligibility status will be used by the state and federal government to reimburse the district for meals served to families. In other words the Federal and State Government pays not you!” said the district in an email to parents.

The meal benefit application also provides data for key funding for academic resources and may also connect families to additional benefits, according to a news release.

Take community health survey

The town of Brookline is encouraging residents to take a Community Health Equity Survey, which is being conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The town’s public health department will use the survey results to improve its programs, make decisions about funding and resources, and support policies to improve health inequities, the town said in a news release.

“We need to hear the voices of all diverse members of the Brookline community in order to do this important work,” said Public Health director Sigalle Reiss.

The survey takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes to complete and is available in 11 languages including Arabic, Cape Verdean Creole, Chinese (simplified), Chinese traditional, English, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

You can take the survey here.

Help improve the Emerald Necklace

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is also asking Brookline residents to take a survey to share their experience and insight about Boston’s biggest park system.

The survey is sponsored by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, a non-profit that works with communities, government and funders to “improve the Olmsted-designed Emerald Necklace parks for all.”

The anonymous survey should take about five minutes to complete.

Take the survey here.