Tag Archives: Department of Sanitation

More snow on the way for Sunday


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Updated 5:00 p.m.

 

Ol’ man winter isn’t done just yet.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast snow from 2 to 4 inches, starting from this evening and continuing through Monday as temperatures drop to the 20s.

The NWS warned that the snow will bring hazardous travel due to reduced visibility and slippery roads, “especially during the Monday morning commute.”

The Department of Transportation suspended alternate side parking for Monday to help with snow removal. However, parking meters remain in effect.

In preparation for inclement weather, the city’s Department of Sanitation has issued a “snow alert,” starting at 11 a.m. The agency said its plows and spreaders will be ready.

To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

 

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Forest Hills restaurant files claim demanding city pay for damage done by snow plow


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo and video courtesy of Exo Cafe

A Forest Hills restaurant that suffered thousands of dollars in damage from a Department of Sanitation plow truck accident wants the city to pay for the repairs.

Customers were sitting in Exo Cafe, at 70-20 Austin St., about 10:55 p.m. on Feb. 13 when the city snow plow struck a garbage can full of snow ice, which then hit the restaurant, police said.

The accident damaged the eatery’s winter vestibule and shattered some of its windows, according to the establishment’s owners, who captured the incident on their surveillance video.

A 36-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, police said.

The restaurant was able to quickly clean up the mess and resume regular business, but still needs money to repair the nearly $50,000 in destruction, said owner Peter Kambitsis.

Though Exo Cafe has filed a claim through its own insurance, Kambitsis believes the city is financially responsible.

“Why should we go through our insurance when they have their insurance,” Kambitsis asked.

Kambitsis said he filed a claim with the City Comptroller’s Office on Feb. 18. Since then, representatives from the city have come to the restaurant to examine the structural damage.

As of Monday, he is still waiting to see when or if he will be reimbursed.

A spokesperson for the Comptroller’s Office said the claim was still under review.

The Department of Sanitation conducted an investigation into the accident and said it “is taking disciplinary action against the operators of the equipment.”

 

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VIDEO: NYC plow truck sends trash can of snow, ice into Forest Hills restaurant


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video and photos courtesy of Elias Kalogiros/Exo Cafe

Updated Monday, Feb. 17, 12:00 p.m.

Several customers were injured after a New York City Department of Sanitation plow truck sent a trash can of snow and ice into a Forest Hills restaurant Thursday night.

Diners were sitting in Exo Cafe, at 70-20 Austin St., about 10:55 p.m. when the accident damaged the restaurant’s winter vestibule and  shattered some of its windows, according to Elias Kalogiros, the establishment’s owner.

Police said the city plow truck hit the garbage can, which then struck the vestibule.

A 36-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the NYPD.

“We were really upset about what happened. We thought it was complete negligence,” Kalogiros said.

“If somebody was standing inside of the vestibule…they would have got hurt or even died.”

The truck driver, who said he didn’t know what had happened, kept going, but was flagged down, according to Kalogiros.

Kalogiros wasn’t at the restaurant at the time of the incident, but was able to see it later through surveillance video.

“It looked from the video that [the plow truck] was reckless,” he said.

In a statement, the Department of Sanitation said it conducted an investigation into the accident and “is taking disciplinary action against the operators of the equipment.”

 

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Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes city to 2014 winter storm number six


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Updated 9:15 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared as the Nor’Easter storm targets the five boroughs.

“Welcome to winter storm number six of the last six weeks,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

De Blasio said the snow has come down “heavier and faster than the weather service had predicted last night.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Thursday morning “so that we can continue to effectively respond to the storm and aid communities in need.”

Cuomo said the state is adequately prepared with salt supplies, and said snow is expected to fall throughout the day at two to three inches per hour.

Ten to 14 inches are expected by tonight, de Blasio said, but could be affected by a mix of freezing rain and sleet.

The mayor continued to urge drivers to stay off the road, and said mass transit is the best option.

For the Friday morning rush hour, the MTA expects to run normal subway service, but some express service may run local because of track conditions, the transit agency said. Buses should run at 80 percent capacity.

The Long Island Rail Road plans to operate at 90 percent of its normal weekday schedule, and is canceling 14 morning rush hour trains.

The Department of Sanitation pre-treated roads and began salting roadways at 3 a.m. Thursday morning. “Extra efforts” were made to address tertiary roads as well, de Blasio said.

To track plowing progress, click here.

Alternate side parking regulations and garbage and recycling pick-up is suspended through Saturday. De Blasio said trash pick-up won’t be “in earnest” until Tuesday.

To check the city’s progress or sign up for regular alerts, click here.

With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola

 

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NYC public schools will be open Thursday


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has announced the Department of Education will keep all public schools open Thursday, as the Big Apple expects another round of snow.

All school field trips will be canceled Fariña said Wednesday night. Families with busing questions are asked to call 718-392-8855.

As always, parents should exercise their own judgment with regard to their children, the schools chancellor said in a statement. “Safety is a top priority for the department.”

Public schools have only closed once on Jan. 3, during the year’s first major snowstorm. They were kept open during the Jan. 22 storm which left the city with almost a foot of snow. Schools were also kept opened during a Feb. 5 storm that brought icy conditions.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted 8 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow through Friday morning. A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from midnight tonight until 6 a.m. Friday.

Wednesday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed state agencies to prepare for the impending Nor’easter winter storm.

Snow will develop around 3 a.m., and continue throughout the day before tapering off about 24 hours later. During the day, with temperatures hovering around the mid-30s, there will be a mixture of snow, sleet and rain, according to the NWS.

 

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Snow again: Winter storm to strike city Thursday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Updated 6:10 p.m.

Get ready for some more snow.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted 8 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow through Friday morning. A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from midnight tonight until 6 a.m. Friday.

Wednesday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed state agencies to prepare for the impending Nor’easter winter storm.

This one will bring a mix of snow, sleet and rain as well as windy conditions, according to the NWS.

““I have again directed state agencies to prepare and coordinate resources for the Nor’easter that is forecasted for late tonight and into Thursday,” Cuomo said. “As we have done in previous storms this season, the State is directing necessary resources to the areas in greatest need, and we will be flexible in our ability to redirect equipment and personnel as the storm reaches the state.”

Snow will develop around 3 a.m., and continue throughout the day before tapering off about 24 hours later. During the day, with temperatures hovering around the mid-30s, there will be a mixture of snow, sleet and rain, according to the NWS. Winds will be 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph during the storm.

Subways plan to operate on normal weekday schedule during the morning rush hour. The LIRR is developing service plans for the coming storm, and may offer extra afternoon service. To track developments, click here.

Buses may reduce service by up to 20 percent if conditions warrant. Alternate side parking regulations are suspended through Saturday, but meters remain in effect.

In preparation of the inclement weather, the city’s Department of Sanitation has issued a “snow alert,” starting at 1 a.m. Thursday. It said its plows and spreader will be ready, but trash and recycling pickups will need to be delayed during its snow operations.

To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

 

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Another round of snow, plus sleet, freezing rain target city


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Updated 3:35 p.m.

For the second time this week, the city is experiencing a bout of nasty winter weather.

After a Monday storm dropped eight inches of flakes in the borough, a system that hit late Tuesday night brought snow as well as sleet and freezing rain.

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning, saying that localities in New York City and on Long Island have reported salt shortages. He said that 3,500 tons of the state’s supply of salt will be sent to those communities.

To expedite the salt deliveries, Cuomo said the DOT has waived federal restrictions on hours for salt truck drivers, and the MTA has waived weight restrictions on bridges.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, however, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city has the salt resources for this storm and for the next storm as it is projected.

De Blasio said the city is experiencing a blood shortage and encouraged New Yorkers to donate by calling 800-933-Blood or visiting www.nybloodcenter.org. He said he is planning to donate blood.

At the press conference he applauded city agencies’ response to the recent winter storms as well as New Yorkers’ toughness.

“This is a city that is no stranger to adversary,” the mayor said.

“Nobody likes days like today, but nobody handles days like today better than New Yorkers,” he added.

winter storm warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Wednesday, with three to five inches of snow predicted as well as about one quarter of an inch of ice, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The snow, which started Tuesday night, changed over to a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain by early Wednesday morning and eventually to just freezing rain. NWS reported 4 inches of snow in Central Park by 5 a.m. and 2.4 inches at LaGuardia Airport by 7:00 a.m.

The precipitation should taper off by tonight. Highs Wednesday will be in the low 30s.

Alternate side parking is suspended on Wednesday and Thursday to facilitate snow removal, but meters will still be in effect. Gar

The Department of Sanitation issued a ‘snow alert’ starting at 10 p.m. Tuesday and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed.

To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

Garbage and recycling collection is canceled Wednesday, but should begin tomorrow.

A “hazardous travel advisory” is also in effect for the area Wednesday, the New York City Office of Emergency Management said.

At 8 a.m. Cuomo announced a ban on both commercial and passenger vehicles on Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders, but lifted it by 2:20 p.m.

The mayor warned urged city residents Wednesday to use mass transit when possible and to leave extra travel time.

During the evening rush hour, the city’s subways and Long Island Rail Road will operate on normal schedules, the MTA said.

Buses will run at 85 to 90 percent capacity, but some detours, delays and suspensions are possible on a route-by-route basis.

As the rush hour winds down, subways will be stored underground on express tracks, and, as a result, express service on portions of some lines will be curtailed after rush hour, the MTA said. Subway customers should anticipate some weather-related delays

Fastrack maintenance has been canceled on the A and C lines in Brooklyn for the rest of the week.

The Metro-North Railroad will operate 75 percent of its normal evening rush hour schedule across all lines, and some local and express trains will be combined and will make additional stops, the MTA said.

Beginning at 9 p.m., Metro-North will go to hourly service for the remainder of the day.  On Thursday morning, it should operate at normal AM peak service.

The storm is causing few disruptions for the city’s public schools. Chancellor Carmen Farina announced early this morning that schools are open Wednesday. All field trips are canceled, but after-school activities and PSAL activties are continuing as scheduled.

Farina said, as of about 11:30 a.m., schools were reporting 60 percent attendance.

“We knew today that we could operate them safely and effectively,” de Blasio said about the decision to keep schools open.

But students could get another chance for a snow day on Monday. More snow is expected on Sunday.

Despite the constant storms, however, not everyone is tired of the weather.

“This is how winter weather is supposed to be. For me, it beats the heat and humidity, Jackson Heights resident Kimberly Rene Oser said.

I love this year’s weather. It’s winter, said Monika Slominska. “The only minus is, I have no driveway, therefore it’s difficult to find a parking spot with all the snow around.

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Get a closer look at the city’s snow clearing budget


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 5, 10:00 a.m.

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) spends millions of dollars on salt each year to keep the city’s drivers from slipping and sliding.

Millions more are spent in overtime for the men and women who clear the city’s roads.

The DSNY’s current budget for the 2013-2014 snow season is $57.3 million, and is spent on salt, vehicle and equipment parts, maintenance, cleaning, plows and motor vehicle fuel, according to a department spokesperson.

The 2011-2012 budget was $51.7 million. Each year’s budget is calculated by averaging the snow budget of the past five years, excluding the most recent year.

“I don’t have the most up-to-date figures, but I can say we’re within the parameters of what’s budgeted. We’ll see how it goes from here.”  Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday.

DSNY Commissioner John Doherty, in an interview with Good Day New York Wednesday morning, said the department would “no doubt” exceed its budget this year. The budget, however, doesn’t dictate how DSNY operates, he added.

Every snow season, the DSNY starts with approximately 250,000 tons of rock salt, the department spokesperson said. This year it cost the city about $13.4 million.

But with three major snowfalls already this season, that amount is gone, according to the spokesperson. The DSNY, however, “can replenish the supply at any time.”

Though the amount is likely to go up, more salt has been used in past years, according to city statistics.

For fiscal year 2011, 61.5 inches of snow fell, and 353,769 tons of salt was utilized.

During that period, $62.4 million was spent on snow overtime. When deployed to clear snow and ice, DNSY employees are on special 12-hour shifts.

Last season, 24 inches of snow fell and 183,597 tons of salt were utilized, with over $16 million in overtime, according to a DSNY performance report.

 

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More snow on its way to NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Updated 9:45 p.m.

Another storm is set to strike the area late Tuesday night into Wednesday, just as the city is recovering from a significant snowfall that dropped around eight inches on the city Monday.

“The snowstorm situation is really getting a little too common,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at press conference Tuesday morning, asserting that the city is prepared for another storm.

He said this storm’s mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain and milder temperatures will help mitigate its impact.

But “be ready for a difficult morning commute,” he warned, and urged New Yorkers to use mass transit when possible.

A  “hazardous travel advisory” is in effect for the area Wednesday, the New York City Office of Emergency Management said.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from midnight through 6 p.m. Wednesday, with two to four inches of snow predicted as well as about one third of an inch of ice.

The snow will start after midnight, then change to a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain around daybreak, according to NWS. The precipitation should taper off the early evening commute. Highs Wednesday will be in the low 30s.

Alternate side parking remained suspended Tuesday and will be suspended again on Wednesday to facilitate snow removal, but meters will still be in effect.

The Department of Sanitation has issued a ‘snow alert’ for Tuesday, starting at 10 p.m.  and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed.

To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

The MTA said is preparing for the possibility of ice building up during the Wednesday morning rush hour, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Customers, however, should prepare for potential delays or service suspensions, and are urged to monitor service status on the MTA’s website before leaving their homes Wednesday morning.

The city’s subway cars will be moved and stored underground on express tracks overnight, which will affect express service on portions of certain lines into Wednesday morning. Bus service will run at 85 to 90 percent capacity and some suspensions are possible on a route-by-route basis.

The MTA has canceled Fastrack maintenance on the A and C lines in Brooklyn for the rest of the week.

The Long Island Rail Road expects to operate on a regular weekday schedule throughout Wednesday.

Metro-North plans to reduce morning rush hour service by 18 percent to accommodate heavy snowfall predicted for Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley, and will combine 27 of the usual 154 morning rush hour trains.

 

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Winter storm warning issued for NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated 4:20 p.m.

Colder temperatures and potentially heavy snow are expected to hit the New York City area Tuesday and could make for a messy commute home.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning from 12 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The New York City Department of Sanitation is preparing to take on any potential bad weather and has issued a snow alert, starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Alternate side parking will be suspended tomorrow to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

Six to 10 inches of snow are expected in the city, according to NWS. The flakes will start falling around 1 p.m. tomorrow and continue overnight.

The high will be near 23, with winds 11 to 15 mph, according to NWS. Temperatures at night will be chilly with a low around 10 and wind chill values as low as -4. Winds Tuesday night will be  18 to 25 mph.

Though the snow will end by Wednesday, highs will remain around the high teens to low to mid-twenties and lows in the teens for the next few days.

 

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Organics collection service extending to Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Department of Sanitation’s organics collection program is branching out to Queens.

Starting in April, residents in Middle Village, Maspeth and Glendale will be able to participate in the program, which targets food scraps, food-spoiled paper and yard waste, such as leaves, to recycle. The program is already underway in parts of the other four boroughs.

The organics collection program is part of the city’s plan to expand recycling. The city spent more than $85 million exporting organics to landfills last year, and hopes that an expanded recycling program will lower that cost.

“If we can collect organics, we can avoid landfills disposal fees and convert the organic material into compost, an organic fertilizer, or clean renewable energy,” said Ron Gonen, deputy commissioner for recycling and sustainability. “It’s a win for taxpayers, it’s a win for the environment and it’s a win for local jobs.”

The containers are brown and come in a small kitchen size and a bigger curbside size as well. The program is volunteer-based, but the bins will be delivered to all buildings with nine or fewer residential units.

The Department of Sanitation asks that residents put only food-soiled waste, food scraps and yard waste in the bins. This means no metal, glass, plastics, cartons, animal waste, foam items, clothing or electronics are allowed in the organics bins.

People participating in the program do not need to line their organic trash bins, but if they want they can line them with newspaper, paper bags, cardboard, clear plastic liners or compostable liners approved by the Department of Sanitation.

The organic trash collected from Queens will be transferred to a composting facility upstate, according to a Sanitation Department representative.

For more information on the organics recycling collection program, visit www.nyc.gov/organics.

 

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Hercules flexing his muscles in first storm of 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated Friday, January 3, 7:05 a.m.

The year is starting out with a shot of nasty weather that is predicted to bring near-blizzard conditions to the city.

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a statewide state of emergency Thursday afternoon to prepare officials for winter storm Hercules, which is forecasted to bring five to nine inches of snow to the city.

“To ensure an effective and rapid response to this winter storm, I am declaring a statewide state of emergency, so resources can get to communities where they are needed as quickly as possible,” he said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning until 1 p.m. Friday.

Cuomo also announced the Long Island Expressway will be closed from midnight to 8 a.m. on Friday from the Queens/Nassau County border and east. The Northern State Parkway and all MTA bridges and tunnels will remain open.

“As this winter storm unfolds, bringing heavy snow and high winds to many parts of the state, I strongly urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution, avoid travel and stay indoors,” he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio emphasized the “forecast could change at any moment.”

“That’s why it’s so important for everyone to pay close attention to updates in the coming hours,” he said at his administration’s first press conference Thursday evening.

Alternate side parking has been suspended Friday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

All express subway service will run local for the start of the morning rush hour, until all stored trains are moved from the express tracks. Riders should expect delays on city buses due to the weather. The Long Island Rail Road is operating on a weekend schedule effective 12:01 a.m. Friday. The Metro-North is running on a reduced schedule after 8  p.m. Thursday, and a Saturday schedule on Friday. To see any additional MTA service changes, click here.

The weather is also affecting air travel. All flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) were suspended as of about 6:12 a.m., but the airport will remain open. Flights could resume in a couple of hours, said the FAA. Thousands of flights have reportedly been canceled across the country Friday, and travelers are urged to check with their carriers before heading to the airport.

City officials have no plan to close specific streets yet, but will monitor that need as the storm progresses, de Blasio said.

The City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has put 2,300 workers on 12-hour shifts, and 1,700 trucks with snow plows will be deployed once two inches of snow hit the ground. To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

Kew Gardens and South Ozone Park had accumulated more than 5 inches of snow as of 4 a.m., according to NWS.

Senior centers throughout the city will be closed through Friday, and de Blasio urged city residents to keep a close eye on the homeless population.

Joe Bruno, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) commissioner, said the NYPD, FDNY, EMS and other emergency officials will “work around the clock until this is over.”

OEM has issued a hazardous travel advisory for Friday, and is warning motorists to drive slowly, monitor weather and traffic, use major streets or highways, and have the name and number of at least one local towing service.

Temperatures will be blustery, with a high Friday of 17 and low around 8. Wind chill, however, could make the weather feel as cold as 10 below zero, de Blasio said.

Borough residents hit grocery stores and gas stations Thursday afternoon to prepare for the impending storm. People were piling into the Waldbaums on Francis Lewis Boulevard just “picking up extras,” but said “the crazies” would be sure to clear the shelves in the hours to come.

“I’m getting extras just in case,” said Anita Oberwiler, who anticipated frantic shoppers to come rushing through as the afternoon pressed on.

 

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Queens co-op launches e-cycling program


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

North Shore Towers (NST) residents can now safely dispose of old and burnt-out electronics without leaving the building.

The new recycling program, e-cycling, is intended to easily and conveniently recycle electronics, which must be handled separately from traditional recycling.

The program, which was created through a public-private partnership between the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), made its first collection at NST, a Floral Park co-op.

“Everybody has something they want to get rid of,” said NST Board President Bob Ricken. “We’ve already sent several bins to be recycled. We’re filling them up like crazy.”

Buildings with at least 10 units can receive on-site pickup of stored electronic devices. Acceptable electronics include televisions, computers, printers, cell phones, video game consoles and hard drives. Electronic shredders permanently erase all of the devices’ data.

“It’s the stuff you really [have] to make sure is handled properly,” said Ron Gonen, DSNY deputy commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability. “The world is changing. A lot of what we do now is electronic, and that means our waste stream is changing significantly.” There are currently 51 sites citywide enrolled in the free e-cycling program.

“We’re sticking to our mission to be a greener facility,” said board member Mario Carmiciano. “We made a commitment a few years ago to start going as green as we can.”

Ricken credited new board member Maria Termini-Miller, a DSNY Deputy Commissioner, for getting NST to be a part of the program.

For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/ecycle.

 

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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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Hunters Point residents split on alternate side parking


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Hunters Point residents are taking sides when it comes to a proposal for alternate side parking.

At a Community Board 2 meeting in January, residents became aware of the Department of Sanitation’s (DOS) proposition for alternate side street parking west of Jackson Avenue between 45th and Borden Avenues due to requests made by some residents in fall 2011.

As part of the proposal, the streets would be swept twice a week, the south and east sides on Wednesdays and the north and west sides on Thursdays. Streets in the area south of 47th Road would be cleaned from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and streets to the north would be cleaned between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Blocks with meters would be cleaned in half-hour segments between 7:30 and 9 a.m.

Dr. Moitri Savard, Community Board 2 member and a local family doctor, has been leading the battle for cleaner streets for about two years and is taking matters into her own hands.

“We just want our streets to be cleaner,” said Savard, who has now started the LIC – Environmental Community Organization (LIC-ECO) to clean the streets as they wait for the changes.

But other residents are worried about the vehicle congestion as cars do the “double parking dance,” switching in and out of spaces.

Longtime resident Diane Hendry believes the community should be accountable for litter and more trash baskets should be added. Hendry also suggests residents get parking permits, as well as resident short- and long-term parking to alleviate congestion.

According to spokesperson Kathy Dawkins, the DOS is still waiting for recommendations from the Community Board after its next public hearing.

“The Department of Sanitation prepared the plan in response to requests by the Community Board and the local councilmember who sense the changing nature of the area,” said Dawkins.

The LIC-ECO group is planning “LIC Cleanup!” for Saturday, May 11 to clean 48th Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard.

Community Board 2 did not respond to calls for comment.

 

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