After years of legal battles, it’s time to take out the trash.
On Saturday, March 15, the Department of Sanitation (DOS) began enforcing its long awaited revised laws on removing illegal clothing bins, which have been considered both a scam and an eyesore throughout the city. Under the new law, the DOS has been granted the right to remove immediately bins placed on public property, sidewalks or roadways.
“I’m glad to see this law finally come to fruition,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who introduced legislation in July to put an end to the problem that has plagued the area, often blocking easy access along the sidewalk as well as creating an unsightly mess in many locations.
“My office received countless complaints about these bin,” Gentile went on, stressing, “Not only are these bins eyesores, they deceive well-intentioned and generous New Yorkers who believe they’re donating their used clothing to charity.”
The city saw a massive rise in the prevalence of clothing bins over the past three years. In Fiscal Year 2013, DOS tagged 593 bins for removal. In 2014, that number more than tripled to 2,093.
“The clothing bins have been an eyesore on our streets for too long and residents have been frustrated by the delay in having them removed,” added State Senator Marty Golden. “I applaud the efforts of all those involved in creating this new law that allows, upon ticketing from the Sanitation Department, immediate removal of these bins. This is a step in the right direction as we strive to maintain a great quality of life in our community and throughout the five boroughs.”
Before the new law went into effect, illegally placed clothing bins were issued warning stickers with the owners directed to remove them within 30 days. Often, community advocates said, they just sat there till the grace period was up, with the owners then just moving them to another location.
Now, once DOS immediately removes an illegally placed bin, the owner has 30 days to redeem it and is responsible for various charges and penalties. If the bin is not redeemed, DSNY will dispose of the bin and its contents.
Clothing bins on private property remain legal if the property owner grants written permission. However, the new rules require all owners of collection bins placed on private property to register with DOS, submit an annual report, and maintain the bin in a clean and neat condition.
Brooklynites appear thrilled with the change and wants residents to contribute. “This came about thanks to the push of the Sunset Park BID and the help of all of you in Sunset Park. However, our job is not done,” said the Sunset Park Fifth Avenue BID on its official Facebook page. “If you still see any (bins), either let us know with a picture and the exact location, or you can go online to fill out a form.”