Super in a war with his ‘stupid’ tenants

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Here’s one way to fight litter: A Bay Ridge superintendent has posted signs calling his tenants “stupid” and “retarded” because of the sloppy way they put out their garbage.

Richard Martin, the superintendent at 278 91st St., has begun posting the flyers on the glass doors of his building, alerting tenants of his disapproval of their trash-room etiquette.

The flyers vary from advising tenants on how to dispose of mirrors — “Normal & right thing to do when you put out a broken mirror is to wrap in paper & tie up & mark broken glass” — to simply reminding them to put the garbage in the garbage cans for a change.

“I expect you to put your garbage in those cans and not on top of other cans and covers,” he wrote, adding, for good measure, “Stop being lazy” and “You people are getting very stupid and dangerous … Tenants better stop being so stupid & retarded.”

Despite such notices, cigarette butts and Q-tips can still be seen on the lobby floor and garbage is still piled high atop cans outside.

So Martin upped the ante, agreeing to talk about his signs with The Brooklyn Paper.

“People are a bunch of pigs. They don’t care,” said Martin, who has lived in Bay Ridge since the 1970s.

He said he put up the signs because the local quality of life is declining and he needed to take a stand.

And some of his tenants sympathized with his approach.

“He’s a nice guy,” said Leila Bakrri.

But not everyone likes being called “retarded.”

“I appreciate what this guy is trying to do, but at the end of the day, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” said one local resident.

That’s ironic, considering flies are one of the things Martin is trying to keep away.

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Reader Feedback

Michael from Bay Ridge says:
I think that calling people names is immature and not the most effective way to accomplish things. On the other hand though these people really do sound like a bunch of pigs. What kind of people don't understand that trash should be put into garbage cans. Cleanliness is very important!
Nov. 23, 2007, 10:27 am
Giovanna from Bay Ridge says:
I live on the street where Mr. Martin is the super. I understand the sentiment of "keeping things the way they were". However, I believe there is a better way to go about it without resorting to name calling. Also, I am sure Mr. Martin did not mention the countless times when he has gone on an obscene 4-letter word streaked screaming session on the corner. Believe me, that is not keeping things the way they were. When I was growing up if a grown man was shouting the things I have personally heard him shouting, he would receive a very serious "talking to" by the men on the corner. However, in general I find Mr. Martin to be a harmless man who is trying to do the right thing for his neighborhood.
Nov. 26, 2007, 10:45 am

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