Tag Archives: Sunnyside Community Services Center

DSNY expanding organics pilot program to southeast Queens

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

Five southeast Queens neighborhoods will be included in the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) latest expansion of the NYC Organics voluntary curbside food and yard waste recycling program this fall.

Ozone Park south of 103rd Avenue and the eastern portion of Lindenwood will begin the week of Oct. 5; residents of South Ozone Park will see their organic waste collection starting the week of Oct. 12; and the collection for Howard Beach and Hamilton Beach will start the week of Nov. 2.

“We are in the process of expanding our organics program,” said Iggy Terranova, DSNY representative, at a Community Board 2 meeting last week. “Queens [District] 10 will be the next one on the market for Queens. We’re going to see that happening … hopefully it moves really well there because we want to use that as our basis on getting it out to the rest of Queens and to the rest of the city. Brooklyn [District] 6 is also getting it, so we’re pushing it as far as we can to try and make it happen for the entire city.”

The organic waste program allows items such as food scraps including fruits, vegetables, egg shells, pasta, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, baked goods, meat and bones, flowers and houseplants, and food-soiled paper such as paper towels, napkins and paper plates to be properly recycled.

“Organic materials make up about a third of our trash,” said Kathryn Garcia, sanitation commissioner. “When you [recycle] your food and yard waste, you decrease the amount of garbage going to landfills and help create a greener and healthier New York City.”

The collected waste materials are managed locally and regionally. Some organic waste is turned into compost, and used locally by greening groups, such as urban farmers, community gardeners and street tree stewards to rebuild the city’s soil.

All single-family homes and buildings with nine or fewer residential units will automatically be enrolled into the voluntary program. Buildings with 10 or more residential units may apply online to participate.

With the organics program continuing to expand into more neighborhoods, Terranova highlighted the DSNY’s need to be prepared to properly pick up the waste.

“We have been thinking about it, logistic-wise, how are we going to pick it up. We just can’t say we are going to start organics in your neighborhood and not have the trucks to come pick it up,” Terranova said. “We have to make sure we have the proper trucks … so look forward to that happening very soon.”

The DSNY previously brought the organics collection program to Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village.

For more information, visit the DSNY’s website.


Sunnyside fundraiser to raise money for family of Sandy Hook victim

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

File photo

Two months after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the heart of a neighborhood remains with the family of a little boy who perished in the gunfire.

A Sunnyside group is planning a fundraiser for the bereaved family of six-year-old Benjamin Wheeler, who spent his earliest days in Sunnyside, romping through nearby parks and riding the No. 7 train. Ben’s parents, Francine and David, lived in Sunnyside until Ben was seven months old, when they moved with Ben and his older brother Nate to Newtown, Connecticut. Francine was one of the founding members of Sunnymoms, a collective of local parents who share recipes, baby sitter recommendations and parenting tips. Now, along with friends from the neighborhood, Sunnymoms is organizing an event to honor Ben’s memory and raise money for the Wheeler family.

“It didn’t take long to realize there was more we could do for that family,” said family friend Roger Hitts, who is coordinating the event.

The same group held a vigil for Ben and Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung in December at Sunnyside Gardens Park, a favorite spot of Francine’s when she lived in the neighborhood.

“[The Wheelers] were so loved in this community,” said Hitts, whose daughter was a playmate of Nate and Ben. “They were such a real wonderful family who was dealt the worst hand they could think of.”

The Saturday, February 23 event, held at the Sunnyside Community Services Center, invites local families for an afternoon of face painting, balloon sculptures and snacks. Musicians will perform songs by The Beatles, Ben’s favorite band.

Hitts said the event is to remain family-oriented, adding that “there’s not going to be people making speeches on gun control.”

If you would like to make a donation, contributions can be sent to:

The Ben Wheeler Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Band
39 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470

Donations can also be made through PayPal, via the email address benwheelerfun@yahoo.com.