Archive for the tag 'department of sanitation'



You see it everywhere in Southern Brooklyn; bins overflowing with garbage, trash strewn across the streets and collecting over sewer gutters. It is getting so bad that it is hard to blame people for littering when the alternative consists of trying to balance your coffee cup on a trash pyramid. CBS is reporting that residents in Midwood and Borough Park are up to their ears in trash and are demanding the Department of Sanitation (DOS) to do something about it.

Marilyn Leiman, who has spent 50 years living in Midwood, told CBS that the garbage problem has never been worse:

“I never saw it such a mess. If you walk down Avenue J, it’s just awful. And the other thing that gets me is a lot of tourists come here. They come to eat in the kosher pizza store. They come from Israel; from Los Angeles. And I’m so ashamed that they come here and see what it looks like,” Leiman said.

At the junction of Avenue J and East 14th Street, the trash was spilling far out of its intended receptacle — and was piled up in bags and heaps next to it.

Councilman David Greenfield called out the DOS directly:

Greenfield fired a salvo at the Department of Sanitation, saying several commercial strips in Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst are under-served.

“They’re allowing mounds of trash to pile up in our prime commercial areas,” he said.

Greenfield, who praised Sanitation efforts along residential streets, said commercial strips such as Avenue J, Avenue M and Kings Highway, don’t get the service they need. He provided photos taken over a three-day period. The owner of a bagel shop said he sees the trash mounds.

“All over the place, all over, and in the can for sure, but whatever doesn’t fit they have on the ground,” said the owner, Hershie Oberlander.

The merchants were unsure of the number of pick-ups, but the councilman said there’s only one pickup a week. He protested that Bay Ridge residents not far away get two pickups a week.

Greenfield’s reference to Bay Ridge might have something to do with the recent deal that Councilman Vincent Gentile worked out with the DOS for extra garbage pickups along the neighborhoods busiest streets. Gentile’s deal also covered parts of Bensonhurst.

CBS posted a response from DOS spokesperson Belinda Mager.

But a spokeswoman for the Sanitation Department said trash is actually picked up four times a week in the problem areas.

“Regular collection trucks service the area (Ave J + East 15th Street) on Tuesday and Fridays. In addition, there is a dedicated basket truck servicing the area on Sunday and Monday. Those baskets are serviced four days a week,” Mager said.

Something seems strange in Mager’s response as the deal Gentile struck increased pickups to four days a week. If Gentile’s deal was only for parts of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst and if the deal maxed out at four days a week, how could the DOS be collecting four days a week in an area where no deal has been struck?

Either way, as a response to mounting garbage problem, Greenfield has floated the ideas of placing security cameras near bins to track the amount of pickups and to catch people who illegally dump residential trash in the baskets.

Source: Deutsch Campaign

Source: Deutsch Campaign

City Council candidate Chaim Deutsch, the NYPD and the Department of Sanitation helped put an end to a homeless encampment irking Brighton Beach residents. On Brighton 6th Street, a local advocate for the homeless had provided a couch, tables and booze for the homeless, leading to late night parties that angered locals.

The outdoor living space was put together by Constance Von Rege, described by various reports as a local eccentric who often solicits money for the homeless to buy them alcohol. Alex Freeman, who manages a nearby salon, described the quirkiness of Von Rege.

“(Von Rege’d) get[s] undressed in middle of the street,” Freeman told the New York Daily News.

Despite Von Rege’s good intentions, the comfortable spot for the homeless elicited a slew of complaints. Police would break up the homeless gatherings but reiterated that it wasn’t their responsibility to haul away the furniture that was drawing the homeless back night after night.

Deutsch then stepped in and drew attention to the issue which quickly prompted the Department of Sanitation to throw out the furniture. While the spot is now clear residents are still worried that the homeless might return.

“They are still around,” Yelena Makhnim, executive director of the Brighton Beach Business Improvement District said. “They cannot be forced to go to shelters or arrested unless they are drinking on the street.”

Your move, Von Rege.

City Council Candidate Scavo Next To a huge donation bin

City Council candidate Theresa Scavo next to a huge donation bin. (Source: Scavo campaign)

Clothing donation bins have sprouted all across Southern Brooklyn. The good intentions of the bins, combined with their almost official like presence, have disguised what City Council candidate Theresa Scavo claims is illegal placement by organizations of questionable intent. According to a press release, the candidate to replace Councilman Michael Nelson, and current chairperson of Community Board, Scavo is looking to stop the spread of the bins.

We had covered the spread of the illegally placed bins on our sister site, Bensonhurst Bean. We reported that the bins, supposedly placed by various nonprofit groups, have been illegally placed on public property and often in a haphazard fashion. The bins have also been subject to theft and vandalism.

Scavo was clear that it was about time for the bins to go for good.

“These bins are unsightly and a nuisance to the community,” Scavo said. “No one knows where they came from and they are unwelcome in this neighborhood. I am working with the city to identify these bins and cart them away.”

Once a bin is targeted for being illegally placed, the Department of Sanitation gives the owner 30 days to move them before the city takes them away.

Instead of giving clothing to the bins, where allegations have sprung up that very little of the resale of the goods goes to charity, Scavo instead has insisted that people donate used clothing to the Salvation Army and other credible charities.


Photo by Steve Barrison

A frustrated Steve Barrison, president of the Bay Improvement Group, sent out this e-mail to local pols and Sheepshead Bites last night, demanding action against the illegal vendors hawking strawberries, blueberries and other items at the Sheepshead Bay Road entrance to the Sheepshead Bay subway station.

This was taken with my cell on a random week day evening after rush hour in front of the Sheepshead Bay subway station. This has been a complaint we have heard from local merchants afraid to complain publicly fearing they will be retaliated against.

It is many boxes of fruit. There was also much litter and many empty boxes are even piled up across the street left on the sidewalk near our BIG mural under the elevated subway.(East 15th Street)

Is this legal? What kind of permits are needed in front of the entrance/exit to the subway? Can the NYPD, DCA or whoever, do anything? Who enforces this? This has gone on for a very long time.

Clearly this hurts our neighborhood small businesses who pay significant rent for their fruit stands in a brick and mortar store.

Is this being investigated?

The filth alone deserves to be addressed and the legality and public safety too.

We can back up the fact that there’s a lot of grumbling about these vendors, and not just from business owners. We’ve received e-mails and photos from readers fed up with the garbage they leave around. And it’s not a new problem; way back in 2011 we published photos of the boxes of rotting fruits they left abandoned near the Neck Road station, and we’ve also seen their trash adjacent to the empty MTA-owned lot on East 15th Street, between Avenue Y and Avenue Z.

As for who is responsible for cracking down on these guys? If they’re unlicensed, it’s the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) – although there’s precedent for the local police precinct to do enforcement as well. In Sheepshead Bay, the 61st Precinct gives illegal flower vendors the boot on Valentine’s Day. In Brighton Beach, the 60th Precinct does it all year round. The Department of Sanitation is also responsible for busting them for the illegal commercial dumping they appear to be doing when they toss their trash in public places and empty lots.

Oh, and all those links in bold in the paragraph above? Those take you to the contact pages for each of the agencies so you can make your own complaint. You may also want to try Community Board 15, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitzs office and Councilman Michael Nelson‘s office.

UPDATE (2:59 p.m.): We heard from Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s office noting that he is working with the Health Department to shut down and remove the illegal vendors and that the department will be sending an inspector out.

NYC’s recycling bin mascots look trashy. Get it?! (Source:

The city wants you to know that there are some commonly used household and automotive products that can be harmful to you, your family, city workers, and the environment if improperly stored, used, or discarded, so the New York City Department of Sanitation is holding a SAFE Disposal Event on April 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (rain or shine).

The event, which will be taking place in all five boroughs, will provide city residents with a one-stop method to get rid of potentially harmful household products. The only one in Brooklyn will be held inside Prospect Park at Park Circle, corner of Parkside Avenue and Prospect Park Southwest (cars approach from Ocean Avenue and Lincoln Road).

Only New York City residential waste will be accepted at this NYC SAFE events (no business or institutional waste permitted). No commercial vehicles will be allowed and residents must provide proof of NYC residency. For safety reasons, attendees are not permitted to unload their vehicles outside of the event area. Also, due to the popularity of this event, there may be extended wait times.

The blue and green recycling bin mascots will make appearances at all the SAFE disposal events. If you cannot attend any of the events, learn more about these harmful household products.

To learn more — and there is a lot to learn — about this event, click here.

Source: Andre R. Aragon /

Good news for those still clearing out their homes from the monumental wreckage wrought by Superstorm Sandy — the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will remove the special storm debris from areas hit hardest by Sandy through and including Monday, March 18, 2013.

Sanitation crews have collected more than 415,000 tons of bulky storm debris as part of these extra pickups in southern Brooklyn, southern Queens and Staten Island. The pickups occur on the day preceding each of their regularly scheduled refuse collection days.

The DSNY advises that while the department has been removing non-commercial waste from homeowners engaged in small projects, “homeowners who are undertaking large demolition and reconstruction projects must arrange for their own dumpster by contacting a private rubbish removal service.”

From a press release the DSNY sent out:

Small quantities of construction and demolition debris resulting from work done by homeowners will continue to be picked up by the DSNY on regularly scheduled refuse collection days provided it is properly bundled. Wood may not be more than four feet in length and must be tied up securely. DSNY crews will pick up a maximum of ten bulky items per home.

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.

For more on DSNY refuse collection, call 311 or visit

If you put clothing into it, that clothing will not go to the homeless. It probably will just end up in a landfill.

About a month ago this bin appeared on Brighton Beach Avenue near Brighton 14 Street. It is adorned with a wide variety of stickers from charitable organizations, but nowhere does it state who is responsible for the bin and to whom the donated clothing will go. The contents of many of these bins are sold for profit at thrift stores rather than being donated to charitable causes.

The bin probably also was put there without the knowledge or consent of the property owner. It is my guess that he notified 311 or the Department of Sanitation (DOS) requesting its removal since it is in violation of City law. A DOS sticker on the side facing the street states so.

It also states that the bin will be removed by Sanitation by April 4 if the owner does not remove it before then. Most likely the bin will be sold for scrap and the contents discarded.

Update (1:49 p.m.): This photo was taken earlier this week. We were just notified that the box has been removed as a result of complaints to 311. Hooray, city services!

Alternate Side Parking regulations are suspended citywide today, Friday, March 8, 2013, to facilitate snow removal. Meters and all other parking regulations remain in effect.

GARBAGE GAZETTEI’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.

  1. One, don’t throw your trash on the ground.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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