Guest Op-Ed: To combat trash, we must work as a community

It is no secret that we are struggling with a serious trash problem here in Sheepshead Bay.

In the 14 years I’ve been in office, I’ve tried many approaches to help alleviate this situation. I’ve sponsored community cleanups, written numerous letters to the Department of Sanitation, and done community walk-throughs, most recently in July with Borough Sanitation Superintendent Joe Lupo.

I’ve encouraged area merchants to sign up for Adopt-a-Basket and secured multi-modal funding for beautification projects that placed decorative trash cans along Emmons Avenue in an effort to stem the tide of litter.

The problem is a complex one and there is no easy solution, but I know that in order to tackle this issue, we need to partner together.

Here are steps we can all take in order to combat the trash issue that has long plagued our community:

  • Contact my office about any unsanitary conditions you may find. We will immediately report them to Sanitation and stay on top of it until the condition is resolved.
  • Volunteer for community cleanups, or take the initiative and organize your own. I encourage you to contact my office and we will support you in any way that we are able.
  • Always deposit outside litter in the closest public trash receptacle. Leaving empty coffee cups on the benches along Emmons Avenue, or throwing parking meter receipts onto the sidewalk, is unacceptable. This only encourages blight, and drives residents and tourists alike away from our public spaces.
  • Never place household trash inside a public trash receptacle. If you have questions about where to throw your household trash, speak to your landlord or contact my office.
  • If you are a merchant, please sweep the street in front of your storefront. This helps to make our community a more attractive place, and will also invite more customers to patronize your store.

We have to work together to make our community a cleaner, more desirable place to spend our time. I will continue to stay on top of the problem, and I hope that you will all work with me in doing the same.

Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz represents Brooklyn’s 45th Assembly District, which includes parts of Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Midwood and Brighton Beach. His community office is located at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road. The phone number there is 718-743-4078 and his email is

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