Neighbor to Neighbor: Litter, double parking quick tickets to fines

By Barbara Morris

Possibly there were some that we never happened to come across. Only as an effort to keep someone from receiving an avoidable summons, some common local offenses will be noted. Parking in southeast Queens is limited. Nevertheless, double and triple parking, parking in bus stops, across pedestrian crosswalks and across driveways will earn a summons and may endanger someone. Keeping our/streets, sidewalks and even inside places of business free of litter seems to be an ever increasing problem in spite of educational efforts. We often see people drop a variety of things that they consider “disposable” sometimes in the post office, a store or on the sidewalk or street, but how often do we see that same individual stop, pick it up and throw it away properly in a street receptacle or take it along? Not often, I suspect. When I have asked people to please not do that any more, once in awhile someone will give me a surprised look and say “Sorry” and might even pick that thing up. Usually, though, the responses are not quite that positive, shall we say. Carrying that type of offense even further, remember that litter baskets “may not be used fo the disposal of household refuse,” sweepings or by storekeepers who must contract with a private hauling service. It is also illegal for any person to dump or allow someone to dump any sort of debris transported in a dump truck or other vehicle on any publicly or privately owned area. Both the vehicle owner and driver are liable for illegal dumping. The fine may be between $l,500 and $20,000 and include vehicle impoundment. The good news for “good guys” who are able and willing to help the city convict and fine illegal dumpers is that you may be eligible for a reward. For information, call 311. Generally speaking, posting of any material (other than official government material) outdoors on any public property, including trees, is illegal. Each posted piece shall be deemed a separate, summonsable violation, and anyone found to have violated this provision will also be responsible for the cost of the removal of the unauthorized postings. Many business owners will oblige requests for posting reasonable sized, community-appropriate material for public view inside their stores. Noxious liquids and hazardous waste of many kinds all have special rules too specific to detail here. However, if the product label indicates it is hazardous waste or extremely dangerous, consult the Yellow Pages under “Waste Disposal Services” or contact the Department of Environmental Protection for advice.Please note: The fine for anyone placing asbestos out for collection by the Department of Sanitation is $10,000. The agency will not collect asbestos. Automotive batteries may only be disposed of at Household Special Waste Drop-off sites (the Queens site is at 30th Avenue between 120th and 122nd Streets, on Saturdays only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for the last Saturday of each mont when the date shifts the last Friday of each month to accommodate sabbath observers or by delivery to a retailer, distributor, collector, or recycler of automotive batteries. City residents may also dispose of up to four tires from a passenger car at the Household Special Waste Drop-off site or they may be taken to any Sanitation district garage Monday through Saturday, except holidays, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.Sidewalk areas must be kept free from any obstruction that could impede pedestrian traffic. Please do not park a vehicle across the sidewalk, leave gates open across the sidewalks or obstruct sidewalks with refuse. Corrugated cardboard should be flattened and tied with sturdy twine in bundles no taller than 18 inches high. Similarly, newspapers, magazines, catalogs and phone books may be tied and bundled. Glass and plastic bottles and cans should be emptied and rinsed and placed with small metal items in a (preferably blue) recycling container or clear plastic bag. When you do all this, pat yourself on the back for saving so much money.

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