Apartment tenants on 69th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues must clean up their act, members of a Bay Ridge community panel say, claiming that lax Department of Sanitation enforcement has allowed the street to degrade into a boulevard of busted furniture, loose construction debris, and overflowing garbage cans.
Community Board 10 member Greg Ahl — whose business, Ahl Tone Communications, occupies a second-floor space on 69th Street — says the city is ignoring the residential strip, allowing residents to turn their front yards into illegal dumping grounds.
“Some of these buildings, it’s just chronic,” said Ahl. “There’s just garbage out front all the time. It just looks terrible.”
According to city regulations, apartment buildings are supposed to store their trash either indoors or out back on non-collection days.
“Incinerator residue, ashes, refuse and liquid waste shall be stored in the building or dwelling or at the rear of the building or dwelling,” the city statute reads.
Ahl says those rules are in place to keep residential areas clean and uncluttered, but the city’s Department of Sanitation said that, despite the law, the agency permits people to keep their garbage in front of their homes.
“Generally, trash can be stored neatly along the building line,” said city spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins, defining “neatly” as being kept inside securely tied opaque trash bags or tightly covered bins.
But CB10 member Bob Hudock, who also lives and works on 69th Street, claimed that the city isn’t enforcing any cleanliness laws.
“That row of tenement buildings has broken cabinets sitting outside for days and days, or disgusting filthy mattresses that shouldn’t be sitting out in the rain,” Hudock said. “There are times that garbage bags just pile up.”
Hudock and Ahl said that they’d submitted repeated complaints to the city, but the block remains as filthy as ever.
“There needs to be sustained enforcement,” said Ahl. “But it just gets tiring after awhile to keep complaining and still see this sort of thing.”