Locals and officials in Jackson Heights are fed up with the Starbucks’ garbage. Council member Daniel Dromm and locals gathered outside the Starbucks on 37th Avenue and 79th Street this Friday morning.
“Starbucks is in regular and flagrant violation of city laws,” said Dromm according to a release.
Dromm blamed the coffee shop for the large volumes of garbage on 79th Street. Because of the garbage, the residential street suffers from stains on the sidewalks and the garbage attracts vermin in the warmer months.
“Coffee grinds and sandwiches are regularly strewn across the sidewalk… Boxes with the Starbucks logo are never broken down or bound,” Dromm said.
Dromm sent the shop a letter asking them to follow the laws which states businesses should place their garbage on the curb at designated times. But the coffee shop continued to place garbage on the residential 79th street rather than on 37th Avenue commercial corridor. He then also spoke to the shop’s manager, but still no action was taken.
Residents in the area say that not only has the garbage made their street a disgusting sight, but the shop’s garbage collector caused has also been a nuisance.
“Their trash collector regularly comes between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., waking many of us up at night,” said 79th Street resident Jonathan Epstein.
The battle to get Starbucks to dispose of their trash responsibly has been going on for several years. Residents started by calling 311, but after the city agency couldn’t locate the garbage, they started calling Dromm.
“City agencies such as the Business Integrity Commission and 311, although acting in good faith, have been unable to have any impact because they’re searching the wrong area, in front of the business’s storefront,” said another 79th Street resident Elisa Carlucci.
According to the release, Starbucks dumps their garbage about 50 feet from their front door, down 79th Street in an inconspicuous location that inspectors find hard to locate.
Elmhurst State Sen. Jose Peralta, who introduced the Starbucks into the community, supported the residents.
“Thanks to our patronage, the shop is thriving. Now, it’s time for Starbucks to be a good neighbor, or we’ll stop being good customers,” Peralta said.