Street Sweeper cleaning roadway

Street Cleaning

Public Works

About Street Cleaning

Public Works mechanically sweeps each street in Cambridge once per month, April through December (weather permitting). Signs are posted on each residential street indicating the schedule. In order to ensure that streets are properly cleaned, cars must move off the side of the street being swept to avoid being ticketed and towed.

Citywide street sweeping includes twice yearly vacuum sweeping to improve stormwater quality. By sweeping up sand and other debris, catch basins are kept clean and able to function efficiently. Street sweepers also help to remove particles and chemicals that get deposited on roadways through the wear and tear of vehicle parts, combustion, and leaking engine fluids, reducing a significant source of pollution to the Charles River and the Alewife Brook.

Find Your Street Sweeping Schedule

To search for your Street Cleaning schedule, use the tool below. Click "My Schedule" and type in your address to find when street cleaning occurs on your street, to sign up for street cleaning reminders, and more.



Holiday schedule will be posted and swept on:
  • Patriot's Day April 20 -  Will be swept on April 29
  • Memorial Day May 25 - will be swept on May 29
  • Independence Day  July 4 - Will be swept on June 29
  • Labor Day September 7  - Will be swept on Aug 31
  • Indigenous Peoples Day October 12 - Will be swept on Sept 29
  • Veterans Day November 11   - Will be swept on Oct 29
  • Thanksgiving Day November 26 -  Will be swept on Nov 30
  • Day Before Christmas December 24 - Will be swept on Dec 29
  • Christmas  December 25  - Will be swept on  Dec 30

Additional Information

In addition to neighborhood sweeping, City squares are cleaned daily: on weekdays from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m., weekends and holidays from 4-8 a.m. (street sweeping) and 6-10 a.m. (hand-cleaning crew). Litter barrels in squares are emptied twice daily on weekdays and three times daily on weekends.

The Division also has a power washer which is used to clean public trash and recycling receptacles, and to operate a graffiti removal program, a collaboration between Public Works, the police department, residents, and property owners to remove graffiti on both public and private property (with owner's permission). To report graffiti use the Commonwealth Connect tool. Once reported, an inspector will examine the damage and schedule a cleaning. 

Tips and FAQs

Where can I find the street sweeping schedule?

Please visit our website to view the street sweeping schedule or use this tool. Just type in your address to find your schedule, sign up for reminders, and more.

My car was towed for street cleaning. How can I get it back?

If your car gets towed, use this form to do a search.  As a last resort, contact the Police Department at 617.349 3300.

All streets swept by the City are posted with signs declaring the dates and times of street cleaning. Cars are parked illegally if parked during those posted dates and times.  Illegally parked cars are first ticketed by the Police Department and then towed.  Check the street sweeping district maps to see what streets are included in a particular district.

Check schedules to avoid being ticketed and towed.  Please only park on the street after the posted time on the street sweeping sign.  Even though you may have seen the sweeper go by once, it may need to go by for a second pass.  Also, the City's catch basin cleaning program is closely coordinate with monthly street sweeping in order to reduce additional parking disruptions, and that equipment may be scheduled during the same posted time period.

Can I park on the street after the sweeper goes by?

You should only park on the street after the posted time on the street sweeping sign.  Even though you may have seen the sweeper go by once, it may need to go by for a second pass.  Also, the City's catch basin cleaning program is closely coordinated with monthly street sweeping in order to reduce additional parking disruptions, and that equipment may be scheduled during the same posted time period.

Does street cleaning ever get cancelled?


Street cleaning rarely gets cancelled. Extremely heavy rain or snow would cause a cancellation. Sign up to receive alerts for Street Cleaning.

Page was last modified on 1/9/2020 2:56 PM
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