Dumping Persists, But CB 5 Members Say R’wood Plan Works
Despite opinions to the contrary, the removal of public trash baskets along Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood has proven successful in slowing illegal dumping, the chairperson of Community Board 5′s Sanitation Committee stated during a meeting last Tuesday, Aug. 5, at the board’s Glendale office.
In September 2013, to eliminate illegal dumping, the committee recommended to the Department of Sanitation that a majority of the baskets be removed. Before all but five were taken away, as many as 57 trash baskets line Fresh Pond Road, Committee Chairperson Paul Kerzner stated.
Nearly a year later, Kerzner deemed the operation a success.
“We are now one year into no baskets, with the exception of five on Fresh Pond Road,” Kerzner said. “We have a 98 percent compliance rate. The five baskets that are still there are always overflowing. We had 57 baskets on Fresh Pond Road at one time,” Kerzner said.
“We got 98 percent compliance on the experiment on Fresh Pond Road, 98 compliance which is good, its not 100 percent but its a lot better since we got the baskets removed,” he added. The source of the statistics was not specified.
Allowing that trash piling up on corners is still a problem, Kerzner wants to remove the remaining five as well, but indicated there is some opposition from sanitation officials.
Though trash continues to pile up on several corners, replacing the baskets was not supported by any committee members.
“To put baskets back out is to reward that behavior,” Board 5 member John Maier said. “That behavior was there when the baskets were there, the baskets went away that behavior is still there. Why do you put the baskets back?”
“I see it all the time and I don’t want the baskets back, unless we have daily service,” he added.
Though Kerzner believes removing the baskets has been a success, trash continues to pile up on several corners along Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood.
“I do see some piling up on Woodbine Street,” Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano said.
“What you’re getting is a lot of shopping bags filled with household garbage,” Maier said. “If they see like one of those circulars or newspaper dispensers, they’ll just start building it up around there, to the point that right in front of the Capital One bank on Fresh Pond Road [near 67th Avenue] about three weeks ago … there was just a giant mound. And then they throw their coffee cups on top of that.”
“It’s outrageous,” Board 5 member Kathy Masi said.
Kerzner said he believes there are only a few problematic corners.
“We have one or two other corners that are now part of that number of fifty that are perfectly clean,” he said.
“The other two locations we have are Woodbine (Street), on the southwest corner by the post office … and the other location, Gates (Avenue) on the southeast corner. Those are the locations that also, every once in a while, they slip and we have household refuse there,” Kerzner said.
Previously, “every single one was abused,” he said. “Those five baskets are still being abused.”
Reacting to a Times Newsweekly editorial on July 24 that called the experiment a failure, Kerzner said he disagrees.
Kerzner told fellow members he would call the Sanitation Department the day after the meeting to find out why officials did not want to remove the remaining baskets.
Glendale street cleaning
The committee debated establishing street cleaning regulations along Myrtle Avenue in Glendale from 71st Street to Woodhaven Boulevard, and on Cooper Avenue to Woodwaven Boulevard.
At issue was whether to recommend implementing Alternate Side Parking rules, or hiring private cleaning services along both commercial and residential streets in the Board 5 confines.
“It’s clear that Myrtle Avenue in Glendale needs something,” Masi said. “What is that something. Right now it gets nothing, so anything would be better.”
After discussing how many days a week, and what type of regulations should be established, Giordano suggested holding a public hearing to hear from the community on the issue.
“I think we have to have a public hearing on this,” he said. “We should wait until after Labor Day.”
“So the question is, it’s clear that Myrtle Avenue in Glendale needs something, what is that something?,” Kerzner said.
“What’s going to give us enough relief without people going crazy,” he added.
Several different times and days that would be least inconvenient to both residents and businesses were debated .
“I would definitely say Monday though Friday is good. The way that New Yorkers litter, it’s intense, it’s crazy,” Maier said.
Kerzner suggested that the committee hold a public hearing on the matter in the near future.