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Talking trash

The Brooklyn Paper
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Call it a trash-22.

First residents of Foster Avenue complained about unsightly overflowing trash cans, so the city removed them. Now, residents are still complaining about overflowing trash cans — plus household garbage that has piled up on sidewalks where cans once stood.

“If the cans are there, they are overflowing,” said Doris Ortiz, the district manager of Community Board 14. “If you take them away, then people drop off big plastic bags full of garbage there.”

Last June, the Sanitation Department removed garbage cans on Foster Avenue between Marlborough Road and Coney Island Avenue after residents complained about overflowing cans. But that move brought roars of protest from the merchants along the strip, who have to deal with the fallout — literally — as merchants can be ticketed for garbage in front of their stores.

Since then, the city has been caught in a continuous cycle of removing and replacing cans to try to appease both sides, said Ortiz.

“It’s a catch-22,” she said.

And Foster Avenue is not the only problem spot in the neighborhood.

One corner litter basket at E. 23rd Street and Farragut Road has been “overflowing most of the time recently,” said Robert Newman, the chairman of the board’s Community Environment Committee, with household garbage filling them up more quickly than they are emptied.

“I think my dog is probably the only one who likes it,” he said.

Sanitation officials acknowledge they have had an uphill battle dealing with corner cans, and say that residents shouldn’t be illegally filling corner cans with household trash.

“The department continues to ask residents to utilize the litter baskets for light litter and not items that should be placed out with their normal household collection,” said spokesman Keith Mellis.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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