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Oy Tannenbaum! City still hasn’t picked up curbside Christmas trees • Brooklyn Paper

Oy Tannenbaum! City still hasn’t picked up curbside Christmas trees

Oy, Tannenbaum: Anna Bellantuono tossed her Christmas tree on the curb in front of her home on 81st Street near Fifth Avenue on Jan. 9, and is frustrated that more than a month after Christmas her block is still covered in holiday firs.
Community News Group / Caroline Spivack

That’s snow excuse!

The city is blaming a little snow for the rotting piles of Christmas trees that have been stacked high on Bay Ridge blocks for nearly a month. Post-holiday curbside pickup began on Jan. 3, but sanitation officials said they had to abandon the endeavor on Jan. 7 to deal with the 6 inches of snow that powdered Brooklyn — and then promptly melted. Locals are calling the excuse a snow job.

“What snow? That was over and done with in like a day,” said Bob Sirico, who tossed his tree on Jan. 8 outside his home on 81st Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. “It’s been weeks since then, and now I have a decaying forest on my doorstep. I really don’t see why they haven’t managed to pick up most of the trees by now.”

The once-festive evergreens are now a brown eyesore that have stuck around too long, another resident said.

“It’s driving us nuts seeing all these dead trees everywhere,” said Anna Bellantuono, who put her pine on the curb of 81st Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues on Jan. 6. “What’s the hold up? It’s almost February. This is crazy.”

The city aimed to gather the five boroughs’ firs by Jan. 14th, but it extended the deadline to Jan. 28 because of snow, according to a spokeswoman.

Garbage men do not take Christmas trees with the regular trash — unless they’re wrapped in a bag or covered in decorations. Instead, the Sanitation Department sends out trucks with the sole purpose of plucking the discarded pines from the curb, and the city only hauls the trees when workers deem the blocks ripe for the picking, according to an agency spokeswoman.

“We like to send out the trucks when the blocks are full,” said Belinda Mager. “Workers see where the trees are and when there is a mass of them we’ll send out our tree trucks.”

As far as locals are concerned their streets have been packed with pines for weeks.

“There are literally piles of trees all over the place so I don’t know what their definition of ‘full’ is,” said Bay Ridgite Harry Tompkin. “They really just need to get their act together and come pick up the trees, but at least the trash smells nice for a change.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Christmas slow to go: Evergreens line the sidewalk with traces of Christmas decorations.
Community News Group / Caroline Spivack

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