Tag Archives: Adopt-A-Basket

Vallone pushes ‘Adopt-A-Basket’ program in Queens


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Peter Vallone Jr.’s campaign

A little-known citywide trash initiative could clean up Queens streets if more of the borough knew about it, a local lawmaker said.

The city’s volunteer “Adopt-A-Basket” program gives free garbage cans and bags to residents and store owners who agree to monitor the outdoor receptacles and change liners when the basket is three-quarters full.

The Department of Sanitation initiative, which began in the early 1980s, aims to reduce litter caused by overflowing trash cans.

But of the city’s 1,300 participants, fewer than 20 percent are in Queens, a sanitation spokesperson said.

“What’s the point of a program if no one knows it exists and barely anyone is participating?” said Councilmember and Borough President candidate Peter Vallone Jr. “I want to make sure Queens takes advantage of the program that exists and that we expand on that.”

If elected to head the borough, Vallone said he would fund and install placards on adopted baskets that show the name of the participating business.

The Department of Sanitation currently gives participants a certificate, but the councilmember said the award is usually hung indoors, out of sight.

The more visible plaques would give due credit to adoptees and encourage participation “in what could be a very successful program,” Vallone said.

“Sometimes, the proverbial carrot helps,” he said.

Flushing business owner James Chen said waste from full cans on Prince Street often spills out onto the streets. The refuse, he said, finds its way under a tree outside his printing company daily.

“We have to clean that every single day,” Chen said. “It’s horrible. We can’t do anything about it because there are not enough garbage cans around. People just dump whatever they want to.”

New York City law requires property owners to keep their sidewalks clean. Fines for failure to sweep sidewalks doubled to $100 in 2003.

The “Adopt-A-Basket” initiative has been pushed in the past by State Senator Marty Golden in Brooklyn and Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito in Manhattan.

Those interested can call the city’s Citizen Service Center at 3-1-1.

 

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Pol, businesses battle bulging baskets


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Trash cans stationed on community corners and reserved for pedestrians have been bombarded by household rubbish, causing the receptacles to overflow, much to the dismay of local leaders and business owners.

“Monday morning, I come in and bags are piled up,” said Kenny Patel, owner of a fruit store along Myrtle Avenue, where much of the problem has occurred.

Some Glendale residents have been taking full trash bags and dumping them in city litter baskets, which quickly fills the cans, say locals.

“We need to educate the residents to not use these for household trash, that’s what makes the cans overflow,” said Assemblymember Mike Miller.

The assemblymember has been working with the Department of Sanitation to register businesses in the Adopt-A-Basket program to help keep sidewalks clean and prevent fines for local stores.

Business owners are responsible for trash in front of their store, which can become more difficult when trash cans are filled past capacity.

Sarsia Sabudin, who owns a deli on Myrtle Avenue that adopted a basket, said almost daily he needs to collect debris that litters the area in front of his shop due to an overstuffed wastebasket.

“I’ve seen people drive up, roll down their window and dump their bags into the garbage,” he said.

If a business adopts a trash can, the DSNY supplies the owners with green bags to line the receptacles. When these near capacity, the proprietor replaces the bag and places the full bag next to the container for pick up.

“It’s a lot better to have two or three garbage bags tied up neat, than an overflowing garbage can,” Miller said.

The program and increased enforcement will aid in the battle of bulging trash, Miller said.

“Once we identify a corner where we know the basket is being abused, we’ll have our enforcement agents monitor it,” said Ignazio Terranova, DSNY community affairs officer.

Dumping household or business trash in litter baskets carries a $100 fine.

Miller said he will contact the Sanitation Department with trouble areas and business that want to adopt a basket. The assemblymember also said he plans on requesting request additional days of collection.

The litter baskets along Myrtle Avenue are currently collected twice on Monday, once on Wednesday and Thursday, and once a month on Sunday.