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City not picking up trash • Brooklyn Paper

City not picking up trash

It’s official: the city has stopped picking up garbage.

A Sanitation official admitted this week that it ended regular pick-ups of public trash cans along commercial strips last July — instead only picking up the trash when trucks making residential runs drive by.

Now, pick-ups that occurred “as often as two or three times a day, seven days a week,” said Ignazio Terranova, are only happening once or twice a week.

And the results have been noticeably bad throughout Brooklyn — where public cans are routinely overflowing with trash.

Manhattan Beach resident Ed Eisenberg said last month the garbage is a big problem on Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue.

“It’s overflowing and people will leave it on the side,” said Eisenberg. “Plus, it’s attracting rats.”

In Dyker Heights, Fran Vella-Marrone says the mess is overbearing.

“Frankly, on 13th Avenue, the baskets are overflowing,” complained Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Civic Association, where Terranova was speaking Tuesday night. “Especially on the weekend, it’s disgusting.”

Terranova blamed budget cuts for the drop in pick-ups, citing an $80-million hole that the department had to fill. And he doesn’t predict an increase in collection anytime soon.

“Right now, and for the foreseeable future, I don’t see that changing,” Terranova said.

Of course, some say the city isn’t completely at fault for the garbage piling up so quickly. Terranova blames those who illegally drop their household trash — and businesses that put their commercial crapola — in city bins.

“If you have a garbage can that’s a quarter full, and someone puts a garbage bag from their house in, now you have taken a pretty much empty garbage can and made it three-quarter’s full,” he said.

Bay Ridge resident Greg Ahl has been lobbying the city to remove some public trash cans from commercial strips because he thinks they are magnets for residential trash.

“That’s what I saw,” Ahl said last month. “Like Sanitation always says, it’s about 80 percent residential garbage rather than litter.”

Terranova added that residents should report abused cans to the city.

Residents wanting to do so should call 311.

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