Archive for the tag 'garbage'

garbage

The photo above was taken this morning on Avenue U and East 14th Street.

According to reader Tracy M., it’s indicative of “the appalling state of the neighborhood, post snow. This pic was taken this morning at Ave U and East 14. I could have gone for blocks taking similar pictures.”

We saw Sanitation workers catching up on residential streets this morning, and with the snow they surely have had a lot on their plates these last few weeks. But we’re inclined to agree: there’s no real excuse for what you see above.

construction

A long-standing sidewalk obstacle in front of the derelict Maimonides clinic at 3121 Ocean Avenue is finally being fixed, with contractors on the scene yesterday.

The site was previously a pit covered by a foot-tall concrete slab and surrounded by barricades.

Here’s what it looked like when we passed by in October:

construction2

It was covered in trash and debris, and was long on my to-do list for griping here on this site. It bothered me because it not only attracted garbage and was a fairly horrendous eyesore, but also because it was an obstacle that took up a huge portion of sidewalk. Next door to the site is the Bainbridge Center, an adult daycare facility. So it’s fair to assume the area is pretty highly trafficked by seniors and the disabled.

A contractor on the scene told us it was a telephone utility manhole damaged during Superstorm Sandy. Looking into the pit while they worked, it was deep and empty. While the contractor blamed Sandy, I recall this being a problem spot long before the storm, with the sidewalk broken and raised up. I can’t remember if they began the work before the storm, but I believe they did.

It also bothered me because it was supposed to be fixed nearly a year ago. A sign on the site over the summer indicated it was a ConEd job, not a telephone utility, and work was supposed to be done by February:

construction3

That never happened. Some time in the fall this sign was spray painted so that the construction information could not be read. Covering tracks much? Maybe.

Hopefully they finish the work quickly and responsibly. It’ll be nice for neighbors to have their sidewalk back, instead of covered in construction and trash.

garbage

So this is what I stumbled across on my walk to the coffee shop this morning, a putrid stream of slop and waste stretching a quarter of a block long, and filling the air with rancid scent.

The mess is in front of Chikurin, at 1702 Avenue Z. Unfortunately, I can’t say it’s the first time I’ve seen this. Over the past few weeks, there have been at least three instances of spilled waste, including a full bucket of grease knocked over into the tree bed, poisoning the soil, and creating a foul smell on one of the hottest days of the summer.

All businesses are required to hire their own private carting companies to haul off trash. Some hire better ones than others, and it appears Chikurin’s carter is skirting the strict regulations imposed on them by the Business Integrity Commission that require them to have proper seals and other measures installed on trucks to prevent such spillage.

Sheepshead Bites has had success in the past getting such careless carters fined, such as an incident last year, when a carting company had a broken seal that caused rotting produce and other waste to pour out on East 17th Street near Avenue Y. After surveillance video showing the carting company spill the waste was sent to the commission, they issued several thousands of dollars in fines.

Now we’ve informed the Business Integrity Commission of the latest incident. According to their database, updated quarterly, the carting company responsible is Viking Sanitation. However, a legally required decal on the window at Chikurin indicates only that American By-Products Recyclers is the waste carter – although a phone call to that company confirmed that they only pick up grease and cooking oil, not garbage. Many restaurants have two carters, one for garbage and one for grease, and they’re required to have decals for both. Here’s the lone decal:

carting

The Business Integrity Commission is looking into the matter, and we hope to have an update soon.

Source: Lisanne Anderson

It’s not news to Southern Brooklyn residents that local trash bins have been overflowing with disgusting levels of trash, but now the reason has become a little clearer. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Department of Sanitation (DOS) has significantly reduced enforcement over the past year, issuing less than one quarter of the amount of tickets to residents who illegally dump their home trash in the public bins than in previous years..

The exploding trash problem has gained attention from local politicians like Councilmen Vincent Gentile and David Greenfield. As we previously reported, Gentile recently worked out a deal with the DOS to schedule for more pickups along busy streets in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst while Greenfield has petitioned the DOS on behalf of Borough Park and Midwood residents as to why the trash problem is spinning out of control.

According to the Daily News report, the DOS has issued 78 percent less tickets for illegal dumping than in the previous year. At June 30, the end of the 2013 fiscal year, just 922 tickets for dumping were issued, down from 4,185 issued in 2012.  The DOS blamed the drop on the circumstances of Superstorm Sandy, which forced enforcement agents from their normal patrol and into traffic duty. Greenfield said that the results of less enforcement were evident.

“We are obviously seeing the impact of less enforcement on our dirty commercial strips. It’s quite common to see mounds of garbage on our streetcorners,” Greenfield told the Daily News.

The Daily News described the situation at the DOS:

A Sanitation Department spokesman said there hasn’t been a reduction in staff.

But the union representing sanitation enforcement agents said the number of garbage guards dropped from more than 200 to approximately 160 over the past 12 months.

“We can’t be everywhere,” said Ruth Thomas, vice president of Communications Workers of America Local 1182.

And it’s difficult to bust the illegal dumpers.

Agents or sanit bosses must see scofflaws jam their home garbage into city bins to issue a ticket.

Enforcement agents do occasionally dig through the garbage to find the culprit’s name on tossed mail or magazines. But those offenders are simply given an in-person warning.

Councilman Peter Vallone blamed the problem partly on business owners:

Many of the illegal dumpers include business owners who are trying to avoid paying the city to pick up their commercial garbage, said Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens).

He’s proposed raising the fines to $200. But that bill has stalled in committee.

“This is another example of the Bloomberg administration’s priorities being trash-backwards,” he said, referring to the drop in illegal dumping fines.

Of the 922 tickets issued last year, 243 were issued in Brooklyn.

Garbage

Garbage

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.

vendors

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: justinwpaxton.wordpress.com)

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 / FEMA.gov

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 www.nyc.gov/sanitation.

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!

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.

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