Updated: Tuesday, March 4, 11:07 a.m.
A group of Jackson Heights residents are telling one Starbucks shop that enough is enough.
Councilmember Daniel Dromm gathered with residents in front of the Starbucks located on 78-25 37th Ave. Friday to call attention to the growing issue of garbage being dumped on the residential block of 79th Street instead of in front of the coffee shop.
“It’s really kind of sad that we have to be out here because we are trying to work so hard with Starbucks to get them to be responsible but yet they remain irresponsible and they don’t want to help the neighborhood,” said Dromm. “They’ve become bad neighbors and they refuse to cooperate.”
The councilmember, who lives on 78th Street, said he has attempted to reach out to the manager of the location and the Starbucks district office but has not heard back from them.
For the past year and a half, Dromm’s office has received numerous complaints from 79th Street residents about the garbage, which at times become mountainous piles and are left out on the curb for more than a day.
“This is a real quality of life issue especially for those of us whose apartments face 79th Street where we are subject to loud garbage pickups in the middle of the night, food and coffee grinds that are strewn along the sidewalk and street and never cleaned up,” said resident Susan Latham. “It’s disgusting.”
The residents have also tried calling 3-1-1, but say no fines have been issued because Starbucks leaves the garbage close to 50 feet away from its location, making it hard to find.
“Starbucks has been littering heavily on 79th Street for several years. This is against the law,” said resident Elisa Carlucci, who lives on 79th Street. “City agencies, such as the Business Integrity Commission and 3-1-1, although acting in good faith, have been unable to have any impact because they’re searching the wrong area – in front of the business’ storefront.”
Dromm has also sent a letter to the Starbucks district office, saying the store is breaking a city administrative code that requires businesses to place their garbage on the curb at certain designated times.
“We’re going to ask people, don’t patronize Starbucks until they work with the neighborhood,” Dromm said. “Enough is enough, we’ve had it.”
Starbucks will be looking into this case and make sure all standards are being met, according to company spokesperson Laurel Harper.
“Being a good neighbor is really important to Starbucks, and we have stringent cleanliness standards in place for our stores and for the proper disposal of garbage,” Harper said. “We’re looking into this and making sure our standards are being followed, and look forward to working with our neighbors to address their concerns.”