Department of Sanitation; COVID-19; Litter; Bed-Stuy
Bed-stay resident, Cory Choy believes the sky is the limit when it comes to trash cans within his neighborhood. Photo Credit: FLICKR

Bedford Stuyvesant residents say the lack of trash cans in the neighborhood is causing rubbish to pile up on busy sidewalks, and they want the city to do something about it, Brooklyn Paper reports.

Bed-Stuy local Cory Choy, who has organized a digital campaign to get more trash cans installed on busy streets, said the neighborhood had more trash than other high income Brooklyn areas because of a lack of garbage receptacles.

“I go to Williamsburg, and I see on their commercial block down Bedford Avenue, on every single corner, not only will there be one trash can, there will actually be up to two or three trash cans on every single corner for blocks and blocks,” Choy said.

According to Choy, the NYC Department of Sanitation removed over 200 wastebaskets in the neighborhood overnight years ago, after residents began illegally dumping household trash into them. The agency confirmed removing bins was a tactic used when bins were being misused. However, removing the bins did nothing to deter the ongoing trash problem.

Choy is currently distributing a Google sheet for locals to input data on where they think new bins are needed. Since launching last week, Choy said the responses showed a real need for more local services.

“There’s basically two responses that I get,” he said. “I get ‘This is a great idea, wow.’ And then I get ‘Gosh, I also have been trying to get a trash can on X-Y corner forever, I call 311 constantly and get no response.’”

Once a significant amount of data is collected, Choy plans on delivering the document to the Department of Sanitation, local councilmembers and Community Board 3.

However, a dramatic loss in revenue for the City has led to over $100 million in cuts to sanitation services, which has led to increasing trash pile-ups across the city. Trash collection was a victim of substantial City budget cuts, with services declining by more than 60 percent compared to last summer, according to the City.

“In the face of economic hardship, and to ensure the City can continue to devote resources to essential safety, health, shelter, and food security needs, the City made a number of tough budget cuts, including to some of DSNY’s collection and cleaning programs,” Sanitation Department Spokeswoman Belinda Mager said.

The department said it welcomed input from community members, but could not commit to any new trash receptacles at the moment.

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Kimberlean Donis

Kimberlean Donis is a journalist based in Brooklyn. She is a student at Williams College majoring in Political Science and Art History.

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2

  1. This must be addressed, Bed Study has been looking filthy, but I had no idea that 200 trash bins had been removed! Put cameras near the bins and prosecute illegal dumpers. That would be a better solution.

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