6/17/14

Not Solving the Local Street Trash Problem

4th Avenue at Bay Ridge Avenue
The Daily News reports that, over the past year, the city Department of Sanitation, as part of an "experiment" praised by local officials, has removed close to hundred trash bins from locations citywide, including Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Kensington, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace.

According to CB 10's Josephine Beckmann, removing the trash bins can be a "good thing."

Good for who, I wonder.

DSNY began taking trash bins off the streets of Bay Ridge in 2011, supposedly to deter what CB 10 said was illegal dumping by residential and commercial tenants. But Southern Brooklyn residents interviewed by the Daily News reported that the street trash problem was due to DSNY's failure to empty the bins often enough.

That was my conclusion back in 2010, after documenting the trash bins at 4th and Bay Ridge Avenues every day for a week and finding zero residential or commercial trash in them. More bins, more frequent pickups, more frequent street sweeping, including the 3rd Avenue Merchants and the 5th Avenue BID deploying cleanup teams, and better DSNY enforcement would all have to be part of the answer, I think.

But more DSNY pickups would cost money, while issuing tickets for illegal dumping generates revenue. In 2012, the year after it began taking away the trash bins, DSNY issued a whopping 4,185 tickets for illegal dumping.

Supposedly, it's hard to catch illegal dumpers, but with all the surveillance video trained on Brooklyn's commercial streets 24/7, I'm puzzled why.

The bins that DSNY removed from 4th Avenue at Bay Ridge Avenue and 68th Street in 2011 were later quietly put back. (That's a photo of one of the replaced bins, overflowing with street trash, above right.)

The Reuven Blau article from the Daily News.

As the absurd and seemingly endless argument about street trash rages in officialdom, trash in the streets of Bay Ridge has reached epic levels.

In a parallel -- and equally bizarre -- development, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, as part of yet another "pilot program", has been removing the trash bins from subway stations, including F, G, J, M, Z and Q stations in Brooklyn, over the past year or so.

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