GARBAGE GAZETTE: I’m sorry, but people are dopes. I certainly don’t understand the point of these little garbage can prisons, but I also don’t understand why anyone, upon seeing one without a garbage can in it, would think it’s a fine place to put your garbage.
Maybe it’s the latest fad: a little zoo where we can stand outside the garbage beast’s cage and point and gawk and take photos (I did) and then move on to the three-toed sloth’s cage or something. I don’t know.
Let’s make some new rules, folks.
- One, don’t throw your trash on the ground.
- Two, if a garbage can is already full, don’t throw your trash in it. No, that little cellophane wrapper that has negative weight is not somehow going to stay delicately balanced on the can until the Sanitation Department comes to empty it, so stop trying and put it in your pocket.
- Just because there is a garbage can prison (sans can), an empty newspaper bin, an unguarded decorative planter, or similar vessel on a sidewalk, it does not mean you have free license to toss trash in it. If you do, you’re just a freakin’ animal and deserve to be put in your own little garbage can prison zoo.
With spring break for many schools just weeks away, community organizers throughout Sandy-affected neighborhoods are preparing for a flood of student volunteers to bolster recovery efforts across the region – and they’re warning the Sanitation Department to be ready.
“It’s pretty much a consensus that the boom time for volunteers is spring break, because [students] organize through their churches, or their sororities or fraternities,” said Laura McKenna, acting executive director of Bay Improvement Group, who is involved in the Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group, a coalition of organizations working on Sandy recovery. “Students are brought in to do this work wherever a disaster may be, and right now that’s here. They’re going to come in from all over the place to Brooklyn, Staten Island, New Jersey and they’re going to be helping, and we need to be ready.”
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Source: BrokenSphere via WIkimedia Commons
Styrofoam is perhaps one of the most space-aged products mankind has ever invented. But, though the stuff is soft, lightweight and relatively durable, its also a dangerous environmental hazard. Because of this, the Sanitation Department is looking for a city-wide ban on the product, according to a report by DNA Info.
The legislation being proposed would place the focus of the ban on businesses and not consumers.
“This would not be something that the consumer would have to deal with,” said deputy commissioner for recycling and sustainability Ron Gonen, “From a pure dollars-and-cents standpoint, it costs us money to dispose of Styrofoam in a landfill. It’s also unhealthy for the environment. It doesn’t break down properly.”
Instead, the ban would fine or heavily tax businesses that continue to order and distribute Styrofoam in large quantities, forcing them to find more environmentally favorable alternatives.
“We’re either going to ban your product or packaging, or make you pay to have it sent to a landfill,” Gonen said.
Councilman Lew Fidler, who had expressed support for a ban in the past, reaffirmed his support for the new ban proposal.
“I would love to move this bill forward, as it would be a help to both our environment and to our businesses through tax incentives,” Fidler said in a released statement.
Photo courtesy of Albert Dashevky
As we all know, New York City is a huge sprawling megalopolis populated by millions of people with a seemingly infinite amount of streets. These realities make it convenient for many dog owners to not care about cleaning up after their dogs. Well, you should clean up after your dog and not just because it keeps your neighborhoods clean, but because the piles of unattended dog feces creates an unfair obstacle course for those in wheelchairs trying to navigate our streets.
Remember, a lot of wheelchair users still propel their wheels forward with their hands, so if they roll over dog doodie, it becomes a horrible situation for someone just trying to get around town. You can use your imagination.
State Senator Marty Golden, after receiving letters from families of handicapped constituents dealing with this problem, has vowed to take action, according to a press release.
“Those who do not clean up after their dogs destroy the quality of life for all residents, and this letter highlights the impact that it has on our disabled neighbors,” Golden said. “I do hope that these concerns raised in this letter will not be ignored. The next time you are out walking your dog, stop and think for a moment, and pick up after your dog.”
Golden has petitioned the Department of Sanitation to place more signs that remind owners to pick up after their dogs.
The headline here is a tweak of two suggestions that came to us on Facebook, thanks to readers Ben Jonjak and Hillary Stackpole.
Courtesy of Lisanne Anderson
Last week we reported on a letter Councilman Domenic Recchia submitted to the New York City Department of Sanitation, urging them to extend their January 14 deadline for Sandy related bulk-pickup. Well, his pleas have been answered as the DSNY announced that they are extending their special storm debris collection deadline until Monday, February 18.
The call to extend the deadline was considered vital because many homeowners devastated by Superstorm Sandy needed more time to wait for the payments from FEMA and insurance agencies before they could begin the process of cleaning up and gutting out their damaged homes.
While the extension of the deadline is welcome, its worth noting that the Sanitation Department couldn’t push the date past February 18 because of resources needed in case of snow-related emergencies.
For additional information on DSNY refuse collection, you can call 311 or visit www.nyc.com/sanitation.
Courtesy of Lisanne Anderson
Councilman Domenic Recchia of Coney Island, Gravesend and Bensonhurst sent a letter to the New York City Department of Sanitation pleading with them to extend the January 14 deadline for Sandy-related bulk pickup services.
The increased sanitation service has been vital for small business owners and residents who are experiencing prolonged clean-ups and rebuilding efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Sanitation has already extended the deadline once, having previously planned to terminate service on December 31.
In the letter, Recchia asked the Department of Sanitation to extend the increased services an extra three months.
“Over the past several weeks, I have met with many residents and small business owners in Brooklyn who have communicated to me the importance of additional sanitation pickups during this recovery phase,” Recchia wrote in the letter.
Recchia noted that delayed payments from FEMA, insurance companies and other governmental agencies have not allowed business owners and residents to begin the process of gutting out and cleaning up their properties. Assuming this money kicks in soon, and the sanitation deadline is not extended, the clean-up and rebuilding efforts for many people will be hampered and slowed.
Recchia concluded his letter praising the work of the Sanitation Department, describing their efforts as “herculean.”
New York City’s Independent Budget Office (IBO), which provides nonpartisan information about the city budget and tax revenues, reported that city agencies have rung up $154.1 million in overtime costs related to Superstorm Sandy.
The large figure comes as no surprise, considering the massive devastation Sandy heaped upon our area, but it’s interesting to note the breakdown of which agencies clocked the most overtime.
The NYPD took the bulk of it, racking up 46 percent of the total overtime. Next was the Department of Sanitation, which took in 35 percent of the overtime pie. Park workers, transit workers and firefighters also took home extra chunks.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, the storm’s total price tag, figuring in city and private losses, was a whopping $19 billion. City agencies accounted for $4.5 billion of that figure, which included overtime costs, cleanup and other expenditures.
Storm debris was taken to Riis Park and other locations, which were turned into makeshift dumps to handle the large volume of waste. (Photo by Anne F.)
For those who suffered severe flooding, it seems there’s almost no end to the amount of garbage and debris we’ve ripped from our homes. And with only so much space on the sidewalk, two full months still isn’t enough time to get it all curbside.
Thankfully, the good folks at the Department of Sanitation have extended the special collection of storm debris until Monday, January 14, giving homeowners an additional two weeks to get the last of it out.
“The men and women of the Department have been working around the clock since Super Storm Sandy hit in order to clear roads of sand and debris and remove massive amounts of flooded furniture, clothing and personal items left behind in its wake,” said Commissioner John Doherty in a press release. “We now are in the midst of the winter snow season and our full resources must be ready to tackle snow storms of any size and frequency. As such, we must cease special collections effective Monday, January 14, 2013.”
Sanitation crews have already cleared out 381,000 tons of debris from homes and streets since Superstrom Sandy hit. The special pickups are made the day before residents’ regularly scheduled collection day.
The Department has been removing non-commercial waste from homeowners engaged in small projects only. Homeowners who are undertaking large demolition and reconstruction projects must arrange for their own dumpster by contacting a private collection service.
Bulk and construction debris generated by hired contractors or fee-for-service personnel on home repair or renovation projects is considered commercial waste and it is the responsibility of the contractor to arrange for appropriate private disposal.
From the Department of Sanitation:
The NYC Department of Sanitation will be conducting special collections for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees.
Collections will take place beginning on Wednesday, January 2 through Saturday, January 19, 2013.
Residents are encouraged to put out their discarded trees at curbside as early as possible during the collection period.
DSNY asks residents to remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from trees before placing them out for collection. DO NOT place trees in plastic bags. Trees will be chipped into mulch that will be distributed to parks, playing fields, and community gardens throughout the city.
New Yorkers can also participate in NYC Parks & Recreation Mulchfest by bringing their holiday trees to designated sites throughout the five boroughs on Saturday or Sunday, January 12 & 13, 2013, from 10 am to 2 pm.
All of the trees will be chipped into mulch that will be used as ground cover to nourish plantings across the City. Before dropping off your tree, please remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from trees.
Free mulch will be available at Mulchfest locations —bring a bag if you would like to take home some mulch.
The Department of Transportation has suspended Alternate Side Parking and parking meter regulations for Tuesday, January 1, in celebration of New Year’s Day. Stopping, standing, and parking, is permitted, except in areas where these rules are in effect seven days a week (for example, “No Standing Anytime”).
Similarly, the Department of Sanitation is also taking the day off, and there will be no garbage or recycling collection tomorrow morning.