Neighbors upset over school garbage


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan
THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Residents in Bell Park Gardens are raising a stink about a school sidewalk across the street that they say has grown to be a rancid repository for piles of garbage.

“It stinks like a garbage room and it’s an eyesore,” said a neighboring resident who wished to remain anonymous. “We didn’t buy a very expensive co-op to look at this and be part of this.”

Some of the Bayside co-op owners who live across the street from P.S. 46 said they’ve been dealing with the repulsive refuse problem for four years. Dozens of garbage bags — full of milk cartons, leftover lunch and paper artwork — sit for hours on the sidewalk, posing as an attraction for local wildlife and an invitation for litter, they said.

“Sometimes it’s out for days,” said resident Trish M., who did not want to give her last name. “It’s not that much of a bother to me, but there is a lot of garbage.”

Kathy Dawkins, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Sanitation, said the Alley Pond School is on the agency’s summer school route and receives seven garbage, four paper, and three metal, glass and plastic collections a week.

The school custodians are under the same sanitation requirements as local homeowners, Dawkins said, which means they must place receptacles out on the sidewalk by the curb no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before their scheduled collection and no earlier than 4 p.m. from October 1 to April 1.

But co-op shareholders said the remaining debris and slimy residue are left sitting on the sidewalk overnight until at least 7 a.m. when they said school custodians come out to sweep. By then, they said another load of trash is put out for the next pickup cycle and remnants of the rubbish find its way to neighboring properties.

“The garbage is put out again almost as quickly as Sanitation collects it,” Dawkins said. “The department will work with the custodians on this and monitor this location.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said the area is “cleaned as soon as possible.”

Bell Park Gardens management and school custodians declined to comment.

Meanwhile, neighbor John Chorzepa said the tussle over trash was trivial.

“I didn’t realize garbage was such a problem. Everybody has garbage. It’s a school – they have to,” he said.