One Astoria resident is getting a snapshot of what some have called an ongoing problem in the neighborhood.
What started first as a joke in July after the Astorian, who wishes to remain anonymous, noticed she had too many photos of trash on her phone has now become an Instagram account with 111 followers featuring “interesting trash” found on the streets of the western Queens neighborhood.
“Once you start looking for trash in this neighborhood you find a lot,” she said. “It’s not meant to be down on Astoria, it’s just a fun way to show there is a problem.”
The Instagram account called “astoriatrash” includes photos taken by the Astoria local and also submissions from neighbors and other residents, making it what she calls “a community effort.”
Calling herself the “Gossip Girl of trash,” she fills each post on the account with fun captions and hashtags. She said she also likes to try to make some posts holiday themed.
She added that she has become more selective with the photos she posts, trying to find “interesting” or “beautiful” trash.
Councilman Costa Constantinides, who since taking office in January has made keeping Astoria clean a top priority, said he is happy to see a community member spreading awareness of the issue in the neighborhood.
The councilman has allocated over $170,000 in discretionary funding to bring The Doe Fund to Astoria, allocated $30,000 for graffiti removal along business thoroughfares and participated in numerous park clean-ups across Astoria.
“I applaud Astoria residents who care about their community and about how our neighborhood looks. As part of our ongoing public awareness campaign to Keep Astoria Clean, we have encouraged participation from residents,” Constantinides said. “It is heartening to see community members like @astoriatrash play a role in spreading this awareness. I hope more people will be encouraged to help Keep Astoria Clean.”
The Astoria local behind the account, who also started a Twitter account to drive attention to the Instagram, said that some of the problems include a scarcity of trash cans in the neighborhood and a lot of people just throwing trash on the ground.
Although it would be bittersweet to no longer have trash to include on the Instagram, she hopes the problem will be solved.
“As long as there is trash in Astoria, I’ll keep posting,” she said. “But I hope the trash problem is fixed in the community.”
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