B’hurst residents demand return of litter baskets

June 18, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bensonhurst There was plenty of trash talk at the Community Board 11 meeting on June 14, but it had nothing to do with sports.

A grand experiment initiated by the Bensonhurst-Bath Beach board to remove litter baskets from street corners along 18th Avenue has been a dismal failure, according to one homeowner, who asked the board to put the trash bins back.

With no litter baskets on 18th Avenue, residents and pedestrians have been dumping their trash on the sidewalk, according to John Petito, who said the wind carries the garbage up his block, 66th Street between 18th and 19th avenues.

“The avenue is just a mess with trash. It’s becoming a burden on us. We’re the ones who sweep up. So much trash is flowing down our block. It has become intolerable,” Petito said as he addressed the board at the meeting at St. Finbar Church Hall on Bath Avenue.

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One of his neighbors was hit with a sanitation summons for having a McDonald’s coffee cup in her driveway, he said.

“Community Board 11 voted to take the trash pails away. I’d like the board to reconsider,” Petito said.

The board voted a few years ago to ask the Sanitation Department to remove litter baskets along 18th Avenue as an experiment to see if it would lead to a decrease in incidents of trash dumping. Residents had often used litter baskets to dump large bags of household trash, according to board members, who said the result was trash spilling out of the litter baskets and onto the sidewalk.

Board Chairman Bill Guarinello said a compromise might be in the offing.

“I’d like the district manager and the Sanitation Committee to meet with the Sanitation Dept. to see if we can work something out,” he said.

Sanitation concerns of another type were voiced by District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia, who asked the board to vote to recommend that the Department of Consumer Affairs reject a request by a newsstand operator to set up a newsstand on the sidewalk on the northeast corner of 20th Avenue and 86th Street, outside a Chase Bank branch.

The newsstand would lead to an increase in litter on the sidewalk, Elias-Pavia said. In the past, the board has always voted against applications from sidewalk vendors, she said.

“I feel this board should be consistent,” she said.

A representative of Chase Bank told the board that bank executives are opposed to the idea of putting a newsstand at that location.

“It would mean added debris and it makes it more difficult for Chase to clean the sidewalk,” he said.

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