Queens Dwellers Face Mountains Of Garbage – QNS.com

Queens Dwellers Face Mountains Of Garbage

The citys proposal to cut Queens garbage collection from twice to once a week has already generated visions of health and storage problems. It is also raising the specter of teeth-rattling expenses for apartment house residents and the boroughs homeowners.
An integral part of Mayor Bloombergs "Doomsday Budget," it calls for Queens apartment house owners to find a new off-sidewalk storage space in which to legally house accumulated garbage for seven days. Experienced supers know that storing smelly discarded meals in plastic bags, no matter how thick, is a royal invitation for assorted vermin to gnaw away to their next meals. They also know that the thickness of a garbage container cannot mask the garbage stench.
One-family homeowners will have to buy extra garbage bags, or an extra barrel to store the added three-or four-day accumulation.
Many are concerned that the announced cutback in service will cause the additional storage of garbage to become an unhealthy situation.
A janitor in one of the Linden Hill co-op apartment houses on Parsons Boulevard in North Flushing, who asked not to be identified, said that he was now barely able to safely store a half-weeks garbage. "The new rules may make it legally impossible to comply with the citys sanitation and health codes around Thanksgiving or Christmas, even if we get more garbage cans," he said.
His buildings storage areas, he said, are routinely cleaned and sprayed twice a week, as soon as the accumulated garbage is placed on the sidewalk. The new once-a-week collection schedule means that the storage areas will be cleaned and sprayed less frequently.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. stated that the cutbacks were "patently unfair," and that taxpayers expected that collection schedules should be left untouched. "They pay their taxes and expect that essential services such as police, fire and sanitation programs remain in place," he declared.
District managers of Queens heavily-populated community boards were universally opposed to the Sanitation Departments reduction of Queens sanitation services, while Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx maintained their two- and three-time weekly collection schedules.
Their concern is borne out by a statistical comparison of Queens and Manhattans sizes, which shows that Queens has nearly five times more miles of streets, its population is larger, and it has more than three times as many city blocks to keep clean.
George Delis, veteran district manager of Community Board 1, which covers northwest Queens Astoria and Steinway communities, spoke out against the collection cutbacks at a recent City Council hearing. He proposed that the use of clean-up sweepers for alternate-side parking rules be reduced to once a week to cut expenses during the fiscal emergency.
"Community Board 1 has 200,000 residents," he declared, "similar to the population densities of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, which have three garbage pick-ups per week."
Kathleen Histon, CB 6s district manager, predicted that Mayor Bloombergs proposed across-the-board cutback could be a step in the direction of semi-privatization of collection services. "The mountains of garbage that we would find ourselves with at the end of one week would be devastating."
CB7s Marilyn Bitterman, district manager of New York Citys largest and most populated community board, said that the curtailed pick-up schedules would automatically cause significant health-related problems because of the lack of storage space. Nearly doubling the amount of the non-recyclable garbage inside of our buildings will also increase the potential for health code violations for apartment house maintenance crews, she said.
"Something must be done to maintain the twice-weekly schedule," said Bitterman.

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