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Sidewalk Garbage Dumping Goes Unchecked for Years

The sidewalk in front of an empty lot on Throop Ave. has become home to recurring piles of trash.

The sidewalk in front of a vacant lot on Throop Ave. between Hancock St. and Jefferson Ave. has become a repository for piles of garbage on a regular basis, drawing flies, rats and complaints from neighbors.

"It's been like this since at least 2006," said Wes Gibson, an officer of the 500 Quincy Street Block Association.

"It's right in front of an abandoned building that was a former crack house."

Gibson said he's made numerous complaints but so far nothing has been done to permanently rectify the situation, although the garbage is periodically removed.

"The trash shows up over night," but it soon returns, he said.

"There'll be a small pile say on Tuesday afternoon for instance, which doubles by Wednesday, and it goes on after that."

Beryl Nyack, Assistant District Manager at Community Board 3 (CB3), whom Gibson routinely calls to get the trash removed, said there's not much that can be done unless the culprits are caught.

"People just dump construction debris and household garbage," she said.

"Before it was just the lot, and now it's on the street. The city did what they were supposed to do by securing the lot."

"It's a serious problem," she said, "(But) Sanitation doesn't have the manpower to put someone in the area. They do have an enforcement division, but they don't have a lot of inspectors in that unit."

Gibson said he's also contacted 311 and the Despartment of Sanitation (DSNY) himself, but they only remove whatever existing trash there is.

"I was keeping a running tally (of complaints), but i just got so disgusted I don't even know what my records are anymore," he said.

"Unfortunately this is what's called illegal dumping," said Keith Mellis of the DSNY.

He said it's difficult to prevent due to the many ways people can bring the garbage to a spot that's become known as an informal dump.

"Sometimes people are very clever and do it from shopping carts," he said. "Other times it's from motor vehicles, and that carries fines up to $20,000."

But Gibson isn't satisfied with what he feels is finger-pointing and inaction amongst city departments.

"This isn't only a sanitation issue, but also a safety and quality of life issue," he said. "The problem is that there's a complete lack of accountability and responsibility."

"And the problem that I have is: Is this really the quality of life that the residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant are subject to? Are we just going to have to accept that we're going to have open piles of garbage on a major thoroughfare that goes through the heart of our neighborhood?"

"And the other thing I would add is you would not have this problem in Park Slope, or the Upper West Side of Manhattan, or near whear the mayor lives."

"So to say that there's nothing anybody can do? I just don't buy it."

Rojohnson18 July 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM
We have the same problem in front of an empty lot on the corner of Fulton St and Spencer Pl (1177 Fulton). I call 311 and file a sanitation complaint about twice a week to have he trash removed. as soon as the sanitation dept clears the area, there's a new pile of junk & trash within 24 hours. Very frustrating and a disrespect to the residents of the community.
Karen July 26, 2012 at 02:50 PM
How about putting up a camera? One that could capture license plates? I walk by that pile all the time and have called 311 about it. It's disgusting! I wonder why the building owner can't be held liable as well.
I care too July 27, 2012 at 03:17 AM
I am right around the corner, and they used to do the same thing, dumping everything in front of the school. It was awful, and never stopped. I found reporting all suspicious activity and actually keeping a vigil stopped it. It took confronting people, reporting license plates and calling 911 and catching them in progress to stop it. You guys have got to be very aggressive have a phone tree amongst yourselves, and put up cameras. You'll find it is a small community of offenders, and they dump by word of mouth, one to the other. That being the case on Hancock St, as they got caught, busted, etc, they also passed that information amongst themselves too. And while we're at it, it needs to be said that this neighborhood belongs to the good proactive people and we need to ring 311 and 911 off the hook; that's how we cleaned up Hancock St; make it damn uncomfortable for them to exist hanging out on the corners, making reports when they're in the park after dark, and riding these dirt bikes thru the neighborhood. The precinct will become more proactive because all of our calls register at 1 Police Plaza, so the local commander has to act. You can remain anonymous in all cases. Another thing we did was get the police department and park department to come clean the park out every evening and lock the park. Unfortunately people have become complacent and there's activity past dusk over there. Last thing, when they have these parties on the sidewalk over at the park, call too.
Doris Ware August 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Doris OMG our block Dekalb Ave between Throop and Tompkins is going through the same thing an abandon lot. Someone left a dead dog in a black garbage bag two weeks ago and really wasn't noticed because a mattress was on top of it . The smell came and it was unreal. Complaints were made and the dog was removed on 8/7/12. About cleaning the lot out Sanitation said it is up to the owners, they do not handle clean ups anymore....what the hell! So I guess our block will have this problem for another three year.

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