A putrid smell fills the air, as sewage streams along 43rd street in Astoria.
Berry Fresh Farm Inc., a supermarket located at 43-26 Ditmars Boulevard in the LaGuardia Shopping Center, has been perturbing people in the community with the street conditions in back of their store.
According to multiple residents, garbage is often spewed on the road and sidewalk on 43rd street, which is directly behind the supermarket. The waste, which repeatedly contains rotten foods and liquids, releases a rancid odor which suffocates the community.
“The smell comes right into my house when the windows are open, so I have to sit in my house and smell garbage all day,” said Michael E., who lives across the street from the supermarket’s dumpsters and says he often sees rats near the receptacles. “It smells horrible, like rotten fish, meat and vegetables. Also, the garbage gets blown out of the dumpsters by the wind and goes all over the streets, so I’m constantly sweeping tons of garbage from my house.”
Local community leaders have recently taken action to aid the residents of 43rd street.
Lucille Hartmann, the district manager of Community Board 1, assures that the residential complaints have been forwarded to the Department of Sanitation.
Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr., who represents Astoria, has contacted the management company of LaGuardia Shopping Center and Berry Fresh in hopes of resolving the situation. If no solution can be found, Vallone Jr. says he will involve city agencies.
“Leaving your garbage that way is inexcusable,” said Vallone Jr. “It attracts rodents, it smells and it is a generally disgusting situation.”
When garbage spills, Berry Fresh hoses off the area, creating a river of rubbish that rolls down the street and into the sewer. Residents, who are sick of the sewage spilling onto their sidewalk, are left with no choice but to hope for rain to cleanse their community.
“They get a guy out with a little hose and he sprays all of this garbage into the gutter,” said John Boland, who lives directly across from the rear of the market. “It’s this yucky, milky liquid with smashed fruits in it. No one wants to walk on that sidewalk.”