Archive for the tag ‘garbage gazette’

Source: Cymbrowitz's office

Source: Cymbrowitz’s office

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

Trash problems and summer heat are a bad mix, and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) says the city needs to do something about the problem now before Sheepshead Bay’s vermin population starts to soar.

In an effort to address quality of life issues throughout his district, the lawmaker took New York City Department of Sanitation Borough Superintendent Joe Lupo on a tour of Sheepshead Bay yesterday afternoon.

He invited Lupo to his district because many residents have reached out to him about trash throughout the neighborhood. In addition to overall filth in Sheepshead Bay, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz told the superintendent about the overflowing trash bins on Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue, the state of the Sheepshead Bay Road underpasses by the train station and along Shore Parkway, as well as trash along the Emmons Avenue median and Ocean Avenue.

Noting that the beauty of Sheepshead Bay attracts tens of thousands of residents and visitors each year, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz has partnered in recent years with the Department of Sanitation in an effort to encourage area merchants along Sheepshead Bay Road to sign up for Adopt-a-Basket, Sanitation’s volunteer program, which would help prevent public garbage cans from overflowing all over our streets.

The legislator also provided multi-modal funding for various beautification projects along the bay side of Emmons Avenue between Ocean Avenue and East 14th Street, which included newly-planted trees, new sidewalks, curb cuts, newly-painted railings, granite pavers, benches and covered trash receptacles. New decorative benches and trash cans recently capped off the much-anticipated project on the west end of Emmons Avenue.

In surveying the community, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz and Superintendent Lupo both agreed that immediate action needs to be taken. “While providing an aesthetically pleasing setting will encourage more people to enjoy the stretch of our waterfront, we need to be vigilant in ensuring that our community remains clean,” said Assemblyman Cymbrowitz.

He said he looks forward to continuing to partner with the Department of Sanitation to address the problem.


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.


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:


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

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.

GARBAGE GAZETTEIn our last edition of Garbage Gazette: Garbage Theory, we deemed the corner “officially a mess” after Sanitation workers failed to empty it on their Tuesday route, and garbage piled up to the point of mini-avalanches.

Friday morning the can was emptied, and again this morning.

On Friday, however, the can was emptied but remnants of the trash pile remained, with litter and debris swirling around the can, and bottles still clogging the sewer drain. Over the weekend, the can neared being full again, and some had placed tied up shopping bags around it. When workers came today, it looks like they must have also brought their brooms, and properly cleaned the corner.

Good on them.

Perhaps our Garbage Theory series will not only tell us whether or not adding a trash can to a corner makes it more messy, but also how often a can needs to be emptied in order to prevent a mess.

GARBAGE GAZETTEWith the trash bin long past full, people have started delicately balancing coffee cups and other wonderful decorations in nooks in the trash heap. But they haven’t stayed there long, as it looks like there’s been a few mini avalanches. The worst part is the area between the can and the light pole, which I didn’t capture very well in this photo.

It’s also pouring out more towards the street, and more litter is filling the sewer drain:

We say it again: before last week, when there was no can at this Avenue Z and East 14th Street corner, there was no garbage problem. Now we’ve got a can, and we’ve got a garbage problem.

Following our update yesterday, a few readers asked if we were suggesting that all trash cans be removed, or if more pickups are needed, or if just this can needs to be removed, or this or that or the other. The answer is, we don’t know. There was a theory that garbage cans lead to more garbage, not less, and so cans should be removed. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

But one thing’s for sure: this is officially a mess.

The same can on Monday.

GARBAGE GAZETTEAs we promised yesterday, we’re keeping an eye on a newly-placed public trash bin that reappeared after more than two years at Avenue Z and East 14th Street.

This can was last emptied Friday morning as Sanitation trucks did residential pickups on East 14th Street. Public trash bins on commercial corridors not only get their own pickup days, but, to make up for a slash in scheduled pickups, are also supposed to be emptied as trucks pass them on their residential routes.

Our test case was not picked up yesterday morning, as it should have been. And the trash problem around it – previously a relatively clean corner – is now beginning to suffer from the overflow. Not only is the garbage around the can, but papers and bags have blown in the wind and cover the sidewalk behind where the photo was taken. Some trash has also gone down the sewer grate, while other bits are poised to clog the drain.

So, five days into our study (yes, we only posted it yesterday, but we’ve been watching it since it was emptied on Friday), and the presence of a public litter basket is already making the corner filthier.

GARBAGE GAZETTEAs of last week, a new public garbage can sits on the northeast corner of Avenue Z and East 14th Street – and its presence gives us a new opportunity to study a budding theory about neighborhood litter.

It’s not the first time the corner has hosted a trash can. In July 2010, Department of Sanitation placed one at that corner in response to ongoing complaints about the trash overflowing on Sheepshead Bay’s retail corridors.

Around the same time, Community Board 11 in Bensonhurst asked the city to remove all the public trash cans from commercial streets. The idea was that people would hold on to their garbage until they get where they’re going, so public cans wouldn’t overflow and clutter the streets. According to early reports, the experiment worked and streets were cleaner within weeks; but, later, business owners gave it a thumbs down when the program expanded.

Back then, we asked a community leader if it would work in Sheepshead Bay. We were told that Sheepshead Bay “isn’t Park Slope,” and that folks would just dump their garbage on the street.

So when, in 2010, the garbage can appeared on East 14th Street and Avenue Z, we decided to keep an eye on it. That corner, after all, had never really had a trash problem. In fact, it was pretty well kept. Within days, though, the can was already overflowing, and after our second post documenting it, the can mysteriously disappeared – and so did the trash problem.

The new can was placed there sometime in the middle of last week. By Saturday, it looked like the photo above, in which it’s overflowing, and at least one coffee cup made its escape. By Monday, it looked like this:

The can is slated for pickup today, along with the rest of East 14th Street’s residential trash. We’ll continue to keep an eye on it, and report back to see if adding a trash bin means adding trash, or if the corner remains as clean as it ever was.

Source: Sulvy P.

We’ve covered the trash that has periodically piled up in the water at the various corners of the Bay before. Looks like there’s been even more reported trash sightings over the weekend. A reader submitted a note detailing what she saw and attached some photos of the environmental hazard.

Sulvy P. said: 

I have lived around the area for years and it seems that absolutely nothing is done with all the trash that is constantly collected and is always sitting in the corner of the bay by the Holocaust memorial. Today this really went overboard. Someone disposed of about 20 fish that all piled up in that corner and made the whole area smell very bad. All the fish were huge and cut from the stomach. I am not sure with what purpose this was done but it may be coming from the boats on the bay… This will only affect the beautification process of the Sheepshead bay area. Something needs to be done. It is not attractive, it’s right by the Holocaust Memorial, it smells bad and I am sure its not healthy for the animals that live there and for the people that are constantly fishing in the area.

Our photographer Erica Sherman contributed the last two photos of the gunk as well. Note that in her photos there is also a dead fish floating belly-up, with garbage on it.

Reader Andrew Kent is also outraged by the garbage accumulation in the Bay. He wrote on Erica’s Facebook page, where her photo was first posted:

Perhaps people who get caught littering or illegally dumping should be offered a choice of draconian fines or a day of community service cleaning up messes like these. Since the garbage seems to accumulate in easily accessible places, this could be done from the bulkheads with nets on long poles, although an afternoon in a row boat might be more fun. And where are the environmental groups, like the American Littoral Society, that do the beach cleanups? Maybe when the geese, swans, and other wildlife start disappearing the Bay’s sorry condition will get more attention.

Dead fish, nasty litter, and a foul smell near the Holocaust Memorial? If this isn’t a situation that needs some serious remedying, I don’t know what is.

View the rest of the photos.

This happens. A lot. And I guess it’s only natural that debris would be swept into the end of the Bay, accumulating in the corner until tides pull it back again.

But, crickies, that’s gross. I guess for every hundred Morning Mug shots we publish showing how gorgeous our waterfront can be, we should be running one or two of these to show the flip side. What do you think?

Photo by A.L.

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