Sections

Trash talk on 86th St! Garbage is choking the heart of Bay Ridge

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

The heart of Bay Ridge is clogged with garbage — and locals are blaming the Department of Sanitation.

Ground zero in the city’s war on trash are busy corners of 86th Street and Bay Ridge Avenue and Fourth Avenue where the litter problem had gotten so acute last year that Community Board 10 actually asked the city to remove street trash bins to discourage residents from disposing of their household trash at corner receptacles.

Instead, said CB10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, the Sanitation Department added a second garbage can at each of the intersecti­ons’ corners — then cut trash pickups by 60 percent.

As a result, the new garbage cans are overflowing as badly as the former ones.

“There’s definitely a lot of garbage,” said Greg Ahl, the chairman of CB10’s Sanitation Committee, who said the new cans have become the predicted magnet for residential trash.

“That’s what I saw,” Ahl added. “Like Sanitation always says, it’s about 80 percent residential garbage rather than litter.”

CB10 had voted to recommend a trial removal of the trash cans at the intersections at its February meeting, citing the quantity of household trash in the receptacles.

A key factor in the recommendation was a report by Ahl to the effect that the three-week disappearance of a can at the Bay Ridge Avenue and Fourth Avenue intersection had resulted in a lack of garbage accumulation at the corner.

But once the can returned, so did the trash.

“It’s a high-traffic area,” said Beckmann, who stressed that some “residents are concerned because the pails are overflowing with residential garbage.”

The main problem, said Ahl, is that Sanitation cut pickups by 60 percent because of budget constraints. Without pickups on Saturdays and Sundays, the cans are overflowing on Monday mornings before the trash trucks roll in.

A Sanitation spokeswoman, Kathy Dawkins, said that the agency is aware of the problem.

“We are working with Community Board 10 regarding its proposal [to remove the cans entirely],” said Dawkins. “We evaluating the situation and is testing a variety of methods to resolve the problem, including enforcement. Litter baskets are not receptacles for household trash but are designed for use by pedestrians to dispose of candy wrappers, cigarette packages, fruit skins and other light refuse.”

This isn’t the first time that a southern Brooklyn neighborhood has pondered whether the trash comes before the can.

Bensonhurst’s community board has removed public trashcans from many locations because of complaints of overflowing trash.

Is it cleaner without the cans?

“Absolutely,” said Marnee Elias-Pavia, the community board’s district manager. “The corners that don’t have baskets are cleaner.”

In Bay Ridge, residents were unsure whether removing the cans, or adding more, is the way to go.

“If you put 60 cans there, it will still be a mess,” said Diane Hunt, who lived nearby for 44 years, and wants to see the cans removed. “People throw their household trash in them.”

Ovington Avenue resident Jeanette Correa disagreed.

“Taking the cans away is totally not a good idea,” she said. “There’s a lot of garbage because we have a lot of people from the subway walking around. I think we need more cans. They really fill up fast, and the garbage is all over the street.”

Updated 6:16 pm, April 14, 2010
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Keith from bay ridge says:
Isn't this because Gentile and CB 10 allowed Vendor carts all over 86th street now, just saying..

I guess we get what we deserve?
April 14, 2010, 8:44 am
yellow hook from bay ridge says:
A lot of the extra trash that appears with the cans belongs to the businesses that are near the receptacle.. They are the ones looking to save money by dumping their trash into the public rubbish barrel rather than pay to have their garbage picked up.
April 14, 2010, 10:10 am
Ed from BR says:
yellow hook from bay ridge says: "A lot of the extra trash that appears with the cans belongs to the businesses that are near the receptacle"
I agree. I see a *lot* of obvious retailer/shipping boxes containers, even boards, old store shelving fixtures, long fluor. bulbs, repair debris ... stuff that can't be packed down, so nothing else fits.
April 14, 2010, 2:13 pm
I refuse to refuse from Bay Ridge says:
There are several causes to the trash problem. I agree that local businesses and residents place large, oversized boxes and refuse in the containters, often blocking access to a garbage can that still has room for smaller litter. Instead of rummaging through my plastic recycle bag to see if I mistakenly included an "illegal" styrofoam cup, perhaps Sanitation enforcement should inspect illegal business garbage that often still has the "ship to" address on the packaging.

The larger issue is a general lack of concern for littering. Everyday, I see at least 5 people discarding their pizza plates, cigarette packaging, candy wrappers, drink containers, etc. on the street instead of in the receptacle which is usually only a few feet away. It appears that many feel the streets are their own garbage can. It appears that the need to just drop your refuse as you go is an epidemic with no concern for age, sex, or ethnic group; we're equal opportunity when it comes to filfth and lack of respect for your neighbors.

A combintation of illegal business dumping and a general lack of respect for the "community" is what continues to cause problems, not those providing food services. You can't blame the vendor (or pizza place, ice cream shop, ect.) for selling his food; you blame the customer for not doing the right thing. Perhaps street vendors should be required to provide a garbage can next to their stand, but where are they going to put it at the end of the day? That's right, on the street waiting to be picked up. The proposed idea to remove garbage cans is simply moronic. If people don't discard their waste properly now, why would less receptacles cause them to have a conscience about littering? It won't!
April 16, 2010, 8:12 am
RX from bay ridge says:
so im suppose to keep my kids diapers and say fat or skin from meat before its cooked in my home or hallway until the 2 days of pick-up ? tell those idiots who complain to mind their business . not everyone can put their trash on the side of their building or backyard til its collection time . let the sanitation department earn their money , its what they are hired to do !
April 18, 2010, 1:26 pm
Two Birds, One Stone from Bay Ridge says:
Bay Ridge has been getting a figurative, beating in the press about the recent brawls at the Salty Dog and Kettle Black. We're now known to be filthy as well. Why not solve two problems simultaneously....

Put a couple of (sober) undercover officers on a sanitation route that will make pick-ups along 3rd and 5th Avenues on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10PM - 3AM. They can help stop the meatheads who love turning over filled garbage cans, as well as breaking up unruly crowds, stopping fights, etc. In return, citizens get the beneift of cleaner streets. Cops and Sanitation workers get to see what the other side has to deal with in their job.

Cops already pose as cabbies, con ed workers, verizon techs, etc., so why not garbage men? Let's keep the criminals on their toes, no?
April 19, 2010, 4:03 pm
Two Birds, One Stone from Bay Ridge says:
Bay Ridge has been getting a figurative beating in the press about the recent brawls at the Salty Dog and Kettle Black. We're now known to be filthy as well. Why not solve two problems simultaneously....

Put a couple of (sober) undercover officers on a sanitation route that will make pick-ups along 3rd and 5th Avenues on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10PM - 3AM. They can help stop the meatheads who love turning over filled garbage cans, as well as breaking up unruly crowds, stopping fights, etc. In return, citizens get the beneift of cleaner streets. Cops and Sanitation workers get to see what the other side has to deal with in their job.

Cops already pose as cabbies, con ed workers, verizon techs, etc., so why not garbage men? Let's keep the criminals on their toes, no?
April 19, 2010, 4:04 pm
Trashwatcher from Bay Ridge says:
The specific CORNERS w/o traschcans look cleaner because the stuff gets dumped loosely on top of residential cans and trashbags, pitched onto sidestreet sidewalks and gutters, etcetera.
I also don't see massive household waste -- it's mostly customers' takeout & deli containers and waste, bottles, cans, and bulky business trash.
I've seen cans that were full of business garbage, or where biz garbage both filled a can and was stacked next to it. [It also looks pretty suspect when 2-3 trashcans in a row are spilling over with biz garbage, while other cans are barely 1/4 full and contain only "legit" trash.]
April 20, 2010, 1:25 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!