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Van Brunt has the ‘can’ do spirit

The Brooklyn Paper
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Van Brunt Street can make a claim to the title of cleanest roadway in Brooklyn thanks to 11 new trashcans deployed on Wednesday.

The new steel cans — courtesy of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation — are smartly designed with narrow apertures, to discourage transgressors from dumping bulky household or commercial trash, and are adorned with anchors — a nod to the neighborhood’s salty past.

Josh Keller, the executive director of the development corporation, said that the cans represent a collaboration between his organization and residents, who have long groused about the lack of proper receptacles along the historically litter-laden stretch.

“The new cans will contribute to keeping it clean,” Keller said.

The cans have local flavor, forged by Linda Tool & Die Company, a Dwight Street metal manufacturer, and will occupy a stretch of Van Brunt from Verona Street to Van Dyke Street — just eight blocks.

Residents and business owners said they welcomed the veritable trash can invasion.

“It will be so much nicer to give people the opportunity to put their garbage somewhere,” said Mary Kyle, one of the owners of Dry Dock Wine and Spirits on Van Brunt. “If people are given the opportunity to keep their homes clean, they’ll do it.”

The development corporation received a $200,000 state grant back in 2006 — $25,000 of which went to the new trash cans and other streetscape enhancements.

Officials with the community development corporation insisted that they had to fulfill other requirements of the grant before the cans could be installed, but merchants and residents grew restless with the interminable wait.

City Hall — gearing up for election season — reacted quickly, installing five new cans last June on Van Brunt, from Pioneer Street to Beard Street.

Elizabeth Demetriou, the development corporation’s director of revitalization and development explained that another component to the delay was that the cans had to meet the Department of Sanitation’s uncanny criteria, since the agency will be in charge of servicing the receptacles.

Area activist Lou Sones, coordinator of the environmental group Groups Against Garbage Sites, warned that the neighborhood has been a target for illegal dumpers, and the cans could attract more garbage than they can handle — despite the clever design.

“Richer neighborhoods like Park Slope all have street cans that are well maintained,” he said. “Monitoring [the cans] is the key to their success.”

Updated 8:18 pm, June 3, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

Joey from Clinton Hills says:
sorry, the Red Hook natives are too stupid and lazy to put the trash in the cans...they just throw it on the street.
June 3, 2010, 9:07 am
Elizabeth Demetriou from Red Hook says:
While the cans did have to meet DOS regulations I did not state or imply that the regulations were unfair or "uncanny". I worked closely with DOS throughout this process and appreciate all the hard work that they did to make this project possible.
June 3, 2010, 9:14 am
Dan from Fort Greene says:
It took four years to install trash cans.

It took FOUR YEARS to install trash cans???

Someone is bragging about this?
June 3, 2010, 10:32 am
Adam from Red Hook says:
This weekend .... must grab a lobster roll at the local Lobster Pound, maybe an excellent coffee at Fort Defiance, stroll down to the waterfront at Valentino Pier and watch the kayakers heading out for a paddle - it's always so much cooler down by the water - maybe I'll stay to watch the sun setting behind the Statue of Liberty .. it's the best view .., then I'll grab some groceries from Fairway ... but if I don't feel like cooking, I might just go to the Mercado and grab some delicious papusas, or a hurraches made by the famous Red Hook vendors, and possibly head over to Sunny's to grab a cold beer and hear the bluegrass jam session - they're always so friendly over there. I wonder what the people in Fort Green or Clinton Hill are doing? Well, not really.
June 3, 2010, 11:29 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
@Adam...I'll be getting up and heading over to the Farmers Market while admiring the beauty of Stanford White's Monument to the Prison Ship Martyrs; then I head to the Brooklyn Flea where I will have a lobster roll too! All the while admiring the amazing architecture of the Brooklyn Masonic Hall and Queen of All Saints church. Maybe I'll buy some junky bike for $900, pick up a cute girl at the Flea and then she can ride on the handlebars as we ride to Bushwick and make sweet love in her loft. Have fun at the Bluegrass Jam Session! I'm so jealous. Well, not really.
June 3, 2010, 12:08 pm
Any mouse from Any where says:
The cans should be red, no?
June 3, 2010, 12:08 pm
Adam from Red Hook says:
@Joey ... good for you! I don't usually respond to the crap that's flung at our neighborhood and its residents on blogs and in comment sections such as this, it's just that you needn't have been so bloody snarky. Really. Did that make you feel good?

Enjoy your weekend - and get down to the 17th Annual Red Hook Festival this weekend if you get a chance.
June 3, 2010, 1:44 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
When did you move there, yesterday?
June 3, 2010, 2:48 pm
Adam from Red Hook says:
Congratulations. Another platitudinous stereotype checked off.
June 3, 2010, 4:21 pm
Jon from South Brooklyn says:
I don't think Red Hook needs the hard sell anymore. Lots of people get it. Those that don't will just stay away, fortunately.
June 4, 2010, 12:52 pm
Sean from Red Hook says:
Joey - Your smart-people-neighborhood is actually called "Clinton Hill," not "Clinton Hills."
June 12, 2010, 9:30 am
rt from ch says:
I live in ch = smart people land -- we buy anything the TV tells us to buy -- that is why we are so smart
I would never go to Red Hook -- it still stinks there - even though you kicked out the homeless men who used to live on te streets there -- now it stinks with prejudice
June 16, 2010, 5:46 am

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