The Department of Sanitation, the Flushing Chamber of Commerce, the Flushing BID, Crown Container, Peter Tu and Councilman Peter Koo’s (D-Flushing) office came together on Monday morning to announce that they had another plan to address garbage pile-ups at the intersection of Prince Street and 37th Avenue.
“All and all, it’s a good start and we’re very pleased,” Simon Gerson, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said.
Last week, commercial sanitation provider Crown Container had volunteered to pick up garbage from the area once a day as a free service to the community. But the DOS told them to pack up the $5,000 worth of industrial-strength bins they had placed on the triangle because it was against regulation to put private garbage bins on public property. DOS argued that in many cases the bins just end up attracting more garbage.
But ultimately, the city agency said they would be willing to place their own bins there. Sanitation said they will pick up garbage placed on the site during the midnight to 8 a.m. shift. They will also attend to garbage there during the Wednesday and Saturday residential garbage pick up shifts.
Additionally, at 1 p.m. every day, a BID worker will remove full trash bags and place them next to the bin so that sanitation can pick it up in accordance with their curbside pick up system. The BID stressed that Prince Street is not yet within their boundaries but they will care for the baskets through the department’s “adopt-a-basket” program.
“I think it’s a great partnership and I look forward to it last a long time, whether it’s this version or some other idea we come up with in the future,” said Teranova.
On his part, David Antonacci, an owner of Crown Container, bowed out graciously.
“We all have to act as one, and that’s what brings the community together. So we’re happy to help,” Antonacci said.
“We should really be commending him for paying $5,000 to donate the initial garbage cans that initiated this whole process,” John Choe, Executive Director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said.
In a sense, the root of the problem boiled down to real estate. Koo said the cause of the problem was nearby residences that had no trash storage facilities inside, likely because landlords preferred to make every square inch of space into a housing unit rather than set aside space for garbage – which doesn’t pay rent. Families that didn’t want to deal with a build up of stench and material in their apartments were thus discreetly dumping trash outside instead.
The violations were for failure to provide “sufficient, proper and separate metal receptacles for the deposit of garbage, rubbish and other waste materials and arrange for collection and disposal of such materials” as well as the “failure to provide a place within the building for the storage of waste receptacles and disinfect same regularly.”
“If everyone follows the rules, we don’t need garbage cans there,”Councilman Peter Koo stressed.
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