Talk about a can-do attitude!
Greenpoint streets are covered in litter because the neighborhood doesn’t have enough bins, says a local business group — and it plans to solve the problem with a new online map that charts all the current cans and allows locals to suggest sites where new ones should go.
“We think that part of the reason there’s so much litter on the street is there’s just not enough trash cans,” said Caroline Bauer of the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce, which launched the Curb Your Litter map last week.
The map shows users the closest trash receptacle to them, plus more information than they ever wanted to know about it — including the model, which city agency is responsible for it, and how often it is emptied.
And when they can’t find a dumpster within tossing distance, locals can suggest the city install one by choosing type of garbage or recycling bin they’d like to see — big belly, paper, bottle and cans, and so forth — and dragging it to a location on the map.
Currently, almost all of the neighborhood’s trash cans are in parks or on Manhattan and Naussau avenues, while most other streets don’t have a single one. Once locals start naming and shaming the under-served sites, Bauer and her team will work with the Department of Sanitation to make residents’ dream bins a reality, she said.
“We’re really excited about people contributing to this and letting their ideas be known about where new cans should go in the neighborhood,” said Bauer, an urban planner by training who started working on the Curb Your Litter project in March.
The map also documents all 311 litter complaints and color-codes the streets by cleanliness. Volunteers pound the pavement on clean-up days four times a year — the next one will be in April next year — grading the condition of various thoroughfares.
The city already has its own ranking system, but Bauer claims Curb Your Litter’s is better — the city simply slaps a mysterious score on an entire neighborhood, while the Greenpoint group’s is easy for anyone to understand and contribute to, she said.
“We created this system for block ratings that is simple enough and transparent enough for any citizen to do,” said Bauer.
The cartographers of crud hope the map ultimately gets more Greenpointers taking pride in their streets and picking up after themselves — trash is a neighborhood issue, said Bauer, and residents will need to get their hands dirty to solve it.
“As residents we’re littering and we’re having this issue, so we need to come together and understand what the best solutions are,” she said.
Check out the litter map and request bins at map.curby