Civic leader says ban all litter baskets

Ridgites: No way trash is getting picked up six times a week
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Greg Ahl is a man with a plan when it comes to public garbage cans — and he wants them all banned.

The Chairman of Community Board 10’s environmental committee says he won’t rest until all public trash receptacles are removed from city streets, claiming they attract more garbage than they can handle, and inevitably make streets dirtier.

“My goal is to get rid of litter baskets altogether,” he said Monday night.

Ahl is pushing his agenda from his perch at CB10, which voted unanimously last Monday to expand its controversial public garbage can ban to a six-block stretch of 13th Avenue Dyker Heights.

The move would strip cans from 71st through 76th streets, skipping Bay Ridge Parkway, in an effort to rid the area of illegally-dumped household and business trash — something fellow members of the panel got approved by the full board this week.

“When they see a garbage can, it becomes a magnet for illegal dumping,” said board member Fran Vella-Marrone of the Dyker Heights Civic Association.

Ahl and company claim a similar trash can ban in Bay Ridge has reduced litter along the main drag, but it has also come under fire for pushing litter onto the side streets.

“This is a classic case of a Band-Aid on a broken bone,” said Jim Allen, who lives on 86th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues. “The problem is not being solved, we’re just pushing it into another direction.”

The idea of removing trash cans from streets started three years ago in Bensonhurst, where Community Board 11 successfully lobbied the city to remove cans along 86th Street. But it really picked up steam when the city cut collections from public trash cans from up to three times a day to once or twice a week.

“We used to have more pickups,” said Vella Marrone. “That’s the real problem: we’re not getting the services that we need.”