Tag Archives: trash

Doe Fund to help Astoria clean up the trash


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilman Costa Constantinides' Office

After numerous complaints about trash from residents, the streets of Astoria are getting a much needed cleaning.

The Doe Fund has been brought to the western Queens neighborhood to help keep the sidewalks clean and clear the corner trash cans, Councilman Costa Constantinides announced Friday.

The nonprofit organization, which employs recently homeless or incarcerated people as part of its Ready, Willing, and Able transitional work program, started cleaning Astoria Tuesday, beginning at 31st Street, 30th Avenue and Broadway.

“[The Doe Fund] will help make our streets cleaner and more navigable to residents and visitors,” Constantinides said. “This was one of the major issues that I campaigned on last year during the election and I am happy to be able to deliver on my promise to bring cleaner streets to my constituents.”

Once a day the Department of Sanitation collects garbage from the corner trash cans, however, littered streets have caused problems in the neighborhood, such as sidewalk accessibility and shopping issues.

“Bringing the Doe Fund to our neighborhood is a big step forward in keeping Astoria’s streets clean,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris said. “There is plenty more to do and we will keep the pressure on the Department of Sanitation until we no longer have a trash problem, but today we celebrate a substantial step in the right direction.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Pols, residents call on de Blasio to help clean up Astoria


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Assemblymember Aravella Simotas' Office

Local elected officials are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to help clean up Astoria.

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Senator Michael Gianaris and Councilmember Costa Constantinides are continuing their call for cleaner streets as residents voice their concerns on trash. 

The leaders are asking de Blasio to increase trash pick-up in the area, which currently only gets one overnight pick-up every day from Monday through Saturday. The additional pick-ups would take place between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., during which most of the trash is accumulated, according to the elected officials.

“Residents have continued to contact my office regarding the deplorable levels of trash strewn about the streets,” Simotas said. “We have asked the mayor for an additional pickup service for the public waste baskets along Astoria’s busy commercial streets. Inaction on this issue is unacceptable.”

Local elected officials and residents gathered in September on the corner of 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria to rally for future plans to clean the streets of the growing neighborhood.

“I’ve heard from residents time and again about the depth of their frustration over how dirty our streets have become,” said Constantinides. “Overflowing trash baskets end up littering our streets and impacting our quality of life, forcing residents to jump over garbage on their way to work. Business owners are also forced to attend to litter outside their doors rather than to their patrons. Additional pick-ups will make our streets substantially cleaner.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Pol, businesses battle bulging baskets


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DSC_0479w

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.

Jamaica’s trashy situation


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Joe Moretti

Not long after Joe Moretti moved into his Jamaica apartment nearly two years ago he realized there was a problem.

The former Long Island City resident noticed his new neighborhood had a trash crisis, the result of illegal dumping in the LIRR tunnel on 170th Street as well as excessive littering in private lots, streets, sidewalks and even in St. Albans Memorial Park.

“This is not a way for a community to be,” Moretti said. “I had never seen anything like this. The more I walked around in Jamaica, the more I would see garbage. This had to be addressed.”

Moretti, a self-proclaimed clean-freak, began to contact the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), media outlets, and various community leaders at least once or twice a week for what he called “an embarrassment.”

As a result of his inquiries, many areas around his neighborhood have been cleaned repeatedly. However, the trash is reappearing. So Moretti is planning to start a grassroots organization with other locals that share his passion to combat the problem.

“It’s becoming too much for one person to do,” he said. “One voice is fine, but it’s better and more powerful if there are more behind it.”

According to Moretti, the problem is threefold. It starts with people who litter instead of throwing garbage in trash cans. Property owners are also to blame, he said, because many do not clean their lots and sidewalks. Finally, he said community leaders aren’t following up with the issue.

“The problem is going to be addressed,” said Yvonne Reddick, district manager of Community Board 12.

Reddick said CB12 has been asking business and land owners to clean their lots, the sidewalks and 18 inches from the curb into the street.

“If someone dumps a black bag in front of your door and you don’t see who did it, it becomes your job to remove it,” Reddick said. “You can’t wait for collection day.”

Reddick has also urged business owners to use the DSNY’s Adopt-A-Basket program, by which they can monitor chained litter baskets provided and collected by the city agency to prevent overflow.

Moretti and public officials agree that the DSNY is not to blame, because the agency has cleaned lots and picked up trash when contacted, and even posted violations and warnings to property owners that have neglected cleaning practices.

Moretti’s area in Jamaica has two scheduled weekly pickups, and residents should call 3-1-1 for any complaints of dumping or trash in private lots, said a DSNY spokesperson.

“Anything behind a fence is private property,” said Keith Mellis, of the DSNY. “We can’t just go in there and clean it.”

He added dumping, which has fines up to $20,000, is a hard issue to deal with because “it takes place in the wee hours of the morning.”

Councilmember Leroy Comrie said the garbage problem won’t go away in the near future if the community mindset and habits stay the same. It’s the reason he is willing to back Moretti’s grassroots organization.

“The only way we can do that [cleanup] is have a real campaign to get people a real respect for their neighborhood,” Comrie said.

Politicians, locals want trash barged


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Locals and elected officials trashed a recently approved plan that will increase waste-filled train traffic, saying residents need refuge from the refuse.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved a plan on June 11 that increases the amount of sanitation districts’ garbage that passes through the Review Avenue waste transfer station and ends up on trains that travel through Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth.

Currently, 958 tons of residential waste is delivered to the site, Waste Management spokesperson George McGrath said. The new plan will add an additional 200 tons from districts in Queens. The increase would not take place until after the facility is renovated, which has no timetable, he said.

For years, residents have complained about the noise and odor from the trains.

“You have people who can’t open their windows. You have people that I know of that have moved,” said Anthony Pedalino, who lives just down the street from the Middle Village tracks. “It’s just become a nightmare.”

Pedalino documents the daily disturbances recording the times the trains pass behind his house, with the times often occurring before 6 a.m.

Instead of alleviating the issues, homeowners are worried their troubles will only increase.

The DEC said the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) analysis found the project’s impact would not be considered significant under the criteria in the State Environmental Quality Review regulation.

“I think any amount of increased noise or odor pollution is too much to withstand for these residents,” State Senator Joe Addabbo said. “These residents don’t need more rails bothering them on a daily basis.”

The DSNY could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Area officials — including State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Mike Miller and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley — gathered with residents outside the waste transfer station to urge the DEC to reconsider the plan and instead barge the garbage.

Currently, the garbage travels from the Long Island City facility north to Selkirk, NY, crosses the Hudson River and travels back south through New Jersey to Waste Management’s landfill in West Virginia.

“Now I don’t think that makes much sense when you consider this facility is sitting on the Newtown Creek, a waterway,” said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.

Holden and the elected officials want the trash barged to a New Jersey port, either Port Elizabeth or Port Newark, both of which have stops along the CSX rail line that carries the trash.

“All we’re saying is we know the issue, we have to get rid of our waste. Well, we’re saying rationally, go with the barge, it’s right here; enough with the rail,” Addabbo said.

Any legislation to change the route would have to be federal because of the interstate travel.

While barging was considered, McGrath said, the narrowness of Newtown Creek at that point creates logistical problems.

“There is no place to store barges in that area, so you have to move them in and out several times a day,” McGrath said. “That in turn probably involves lifting the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge several times a day.”

“Our focus is working with customers in moving waste as efficiently as possible. In this location we believe rail is the way to go.”

No garbage, recycling collection on Memorial Day


| brennison@queenscourier.com

In observance of Memorial Day, there will be no garbage or recycling collection or street cleaning on Monday, May 28.

Those who normally receive garbage pickup on Mondays should place their trash curbside after 5 p.m., the Sanitation Department said.

Residents who usually have recycling collection on Monday will have it picked up on Monday, June 4.

 

Man shot in Queens while sitting in car, then drives it into house in Jamaica


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man shot in Queens while sitting in car, then drives it into house in Jamaica 

A 50-year-old man was shot while he was sitting in his car Monday and then drove it into a Queens house three blocks away, cops said. The man, whose name was not released, was in the driver’s seat of a Nissan Altima at 172nd St. and Hillside Ave. when he was blasted in the groin around 5:40 p.m., police and fire officials said. He then started driving and slammed the sedan into a house on a residential Jamaica street at the corner of 171st St. and 89th Ave. Read More: Daily News

 

Arrest made in attempted shooting of officers

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the arrest of Antonio Olmeda, age 53 of  Manhattan, in the attempted shooting of two New York City police officers on December 2nd in Jackson Heights, Queens. “Our officers miraculously escaped injury when their assailant fired at extremely close range, narrowly missing them,” Commissioner Kelly said. “Olmeda’s arrest was bittersweet in that it came this morning as the family of Police Officer Peter Figoski prepared for his funeral.” Read More: Queens Courier

 

Suspect cleared amid cop’s lie

A Queens man was acquitted of gun charges yesterday — after prosecutors admitted they withheld evidence involving phony police testimony. Prosecutors told jurors that Deon Davis, 21, placed a loaded weapon on the ground in front of a cop, then escaped by squeezing through a fence, only to be nabbed a few blocks away. They didn’t say arresting Officer Ronald Martiny had admitted to the prosecution that his description of the alleged escape wasn’t true, that there was no fence. Not only did prosecutors fail to mention the “mistake” to the defense, but when Martiny took the stand, he repeated the lie. Read More: New York Post
Trash Can Tickets In Queens

A Queens man is very upset after trying to put his trash out for collection and ending up with a ticket. He, and others, are getting snared in an enforcement of a law that few people even know exists. The scrooge award goes to the New York City Sanitation Department for the $100 tickets. Read More: Fox News

Smart Move: Cornell University coming to Roosevelt Island

Just days after the upstate Ivy League school received a $350 million gift from an anonymous donor, Cornell University was selected as the winning bid to bring an applied science school to the city. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cornell University President David Skorton and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President Peretz Lavie announced a partnership on Monday, December 19 to build a two-million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island as part of the Applied Sciences NYC initiative. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Francisco Signs Amazin’ $12 Million Deal

Pitching reliever Frank Francisco has signed a $12 million, two-year deal to play with the New York Mets. Francisco played 54 games with the Toronto Blue Jays last season with 17 saves on the mound. The 32-year-old right-hander has 368 strikeouts in his seven year career with Toronto and Texas. Read More: NY1

Queens Community Board Renews Push For High Line-Style Park

An effort is now under way to bring a park similar to Manhattan’s High Line to a stretch of the old Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. Read More: NY1

Queens judge’s landmark decision in Howard Beach case still reverberates today

Critics said this Queens judge was setting the Constitution back 200 years. One lawyer wondered if an infamous Nazi war criminal was on trial whether Jews would be allowed to sit in judgment. “If you were Adolf Eichmann, would you want a Jew on the jury?” lawyer Ronald Rubinstein observed. Little did they know that Justice Thomas Demakos — by insuring black participation on the Howard Beach jury — had a clear view of the future. Read More: Daily News