Garbage Piles Up at Waste Baskets on Avenue J

By Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
August 14, 2013 Updated: August 14, 2013

NEW YORK—The commercial district on Brooklyn’s Avenue J suffers from overflowing trash cans said Councilman David Greenfield, who held a press conference August 13 to address the issue. Greenfield says he has raised the subject several times with the Department of Sanitation, but the mess on Avenue J persists.

“All we are asking for is to be treated like all other communities in New York City,” said the city councilman. Greenfield said other neighborhoods’ garbage collection is more frequent than that of Avenue J. Every month he gets about a dozen complaints from constituents about the mess of trash on Avenue J.

K. Vellios, owner of Ave J Florist, said overflowing trash bins have been a longstanding problem. He said part of the problem is that nearby residents leave their trash on the street by the city’s waste baskets.

As trash bags collect around city litter baskets, trash often spills out attracting mice and rats, said Greenfield. The street corner baskets are for use by passing pedestrians, not household trash from local residents. The overflow of bags at waste baskets is likely from nearby residents dropping off household trash.

Greenfield wants to see the city ticket people who dispose of household trash at street corner baskets. People don’t fear getting a ticket, said Greenfield. He said sanitation police should come out at night and fine people who leave bags of trash on the corner. “People know they can dump trash and there are no consequences,” he said He hopes to get cameras placed on street corners to help reign in trash dumping, but is still seeking funding.

The City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) issued a statement regarding Avenue J that it is “working together with the elected officials, the community board, and merchants along Avenue J to resolve the issues of overflowing baskets, drop offs, and basket service.” 

The department of sanitation said residential refuse collection in the neighborhood is Tuesdays and Fridays. The trucks that pick up residential trash also empty the litter baskets. A special truck also comes on Sunday and Monday to empty the litter baskets.

In its statement the department also reiterated that street corner litter baskets are designed for pedestrian use, and are not for household or commercial waste.

“The DSNY’s Enforcement Division has been monitoring the area for improper use of litter baskets, and from June 27 to July 17th, issued 18 summonses.”

Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak