Councilmember David Greenfield announced an intensive plan to clean up Bay Parkway at a meeting with Sanitation Department officials and community members at St. Athanasius school auditorium on March 29.
Bay Parkway is not as clean as it used to be and we want to fix that this is a growing community and growing communities have issues to deal with, Greenfield told a room of nearly 100 Bensonhurst residents and representatives from Community Board 11, Community Board 12, the Federation of Italian American Organizations and the United Chinese Association.
Strategies for keeping Bay Parkway clean include getting rid of illegal dumping, cleaning up trash on the commercial strip and fixing up the vacant MTA lot near 66th Street. Its an eyesore in the community and filled with trash. Its very frustrating, Greenfield said.
Greenfield allocated $1 million in capital funds to Sanitations budget to buy more equipment, including two trucks with snow plows. There is also a plan in the works to get new garbage bins, called big belly garbage bins, that have a mail slot-like opening to put refuse in, instead of having one on top. Inside is a solar-powered compactor which can help to prevent both trash overflow and illegal dumping because you cant fit in big items.
Ignazio Terranova, a city-wide community affairs officer for the Sanitation Department, explained that corner trash bins should be able to last 72 hours before a pick up. Those baskets are designed for pedestrian garbage, he explained.
Terranova and his team, members of which speak fluent Italian and Chinese, will start educational outreach in the neighborhood, distributing literature and informing residents on how to dispose of household trash properly. We will educate and get the word out about the issue, he said.
There is also a tentative Day of Action scheduled towards the end of this month, when neighborhood students and volunteers will clean-up the thoroughfare. At least once a year, we should get out there and make a concerted effort to keep our neighborhood clean, Greenfield said.
Residents voiced concerns over the way merchants keep their storefronts and complained of being fined for errant trash blowing onto their property. Both Greenfield and Terranova stressed that the Sanitation Department was not out to get them. We view tickets as a last resort. We give people every opportunity to keep clean and if they dont, it will get enforced. Greenfield said.
Greenfield encouraged residents to give him feedback on graffiti and trash problem areas. We all live here together, so lets make this a beautiful place, he said.
He also reminded his listeners that Bensonhurst does not have a Business Improvement District (BID) like other neighborhoods do to help keep streets clean one reason why he is looking into extra help, like the DOE Fund, to keep the area clean.
Im not going to lie, its going to take time, but we are moving in the right direction, Greenfield said. Today is the beginning of the process.