Southern Brooklyn

Residents wonder if slow trash pickup will be a constant problem

October 28, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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When will the Department of Sanitation pick up the trash?

This is a question being raised by many Southern Brooklyn residents as their garbage has been piling up outside their homes for over a week, waiting to be picked up by the DSNY.

On Oct. 20, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all city workers. By the end of Friday, Oct. 29, all employees are required to have proof of at least one dose. Unvaccinated employees will be placed on unpaid leave until they show proof of vaccination to their supervisors. 

Some observers are wondering whether the slowdown is deliberate, caused by workers who are opposed to the mandate, and whether things will get worse later on when employees who refuse to get vaccinated are longer on the job, according to published reports.

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DSNY Commissioner Edward Grayson was on NY1 on Oct. 27, confirming that some areas, primarily Staten Island and parts of Southern Brooklyn, have been experiencing a service delay.

NYC Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson Eagle Urban Media/File photo

“To be honest with you, the mandate is in effect, we had normal routine pickup last week and this week we do not,” he told the outlet. “And that is the reality of it. With regard to the amount of tons on every truck, if normally you go out and you pick up 10 tons on every truck and now the trucks are coming back at the end of a work tour with only five tons on it, clearly we have to figure out what that is.”

NY 1 added that Community Boards 10, 11, 14, 15 and 18 have been affected by the slowdown. Those districts include Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Coney Island and more.

De Blasio acknowledged those concerns during a press briefing Oct. 28.

“We’re definitely seeing that problem in some parts of the city and it’s unacceptable,” he said. “People may not agree with a decision, but this decision is about the health and safety of all New Yorkers.”

He added that, “Anyone who is not doing their job, you’re harming your fellow Sanitation workers, and you’re harming your neighbors and you’re harming the people of New York City. And it’s time to stop. 

Although garbage is slowly being picked up in some areas as of Thursday, Oct. 28, residents are concerned that this may be a regular occurrence.

“It worries me that this isn’t a first-time thing and it will happen more often after the mandate,” Bay Ridge resident Ray D. said. 

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