Some Bensonhurst residents want to know why, following the annual Columbus Day Parade along 18th Avenue, filled-to-capacity trash cans were not emptied sooner by the city’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY), but were instead left to spew their garbage onto the sidewalk.
A tradition in Brooklyn, Bensonhurst’s Columbus Day Parade kicked off near 63rd Street and culminated near Benson Avenue on Saturday, October 10, bringing huge crowds and lots of garbage to the neighborhood.
Local resident Carmine Lomonaco shared photos with this paper of overflowing garbage cans along 18th Avenue, left un-emptied for days after the parade because there is no Sunday pickup along the strip, and there was no Monday pickup, as well, because of the holiday.
While DSNY does not collect trash on city holidays, Lomonaco made the argument that an outside agency could have been hired to make the avenue “presentable for the Monday holiday.
“My family and I went to Staten Island for the day where it is clean,” said Lomonaco. “Why would I want expose my family to filth on such a beautiful day? This is another example of why homeowners and businesses are fleeing this area. [It’s] a disgrace [and] an insult to all the Italians that made 18th Avenue iconic.”
According to Lomonaco, the garbage cans in the photographs he sent were on the corners of 18th Avenue and 63rd, 64th and 65th Streets.
“It’s a city holiday, Sanitation doesn’t pick up and that is one of the challenges we have with those baskets,” said District Manager of Community Board 11 Marnee Elias-Pavia. “That has been ongoing along the commercial corridor. The board has consistently advocated to have the Sunday basket collection reinstated. There were a lot of people out on Saturday for the parade.”
Asked to comment about the complaint, DSNY Spokesperson Belinda Mager told this paper that, “Litter baskets in the area are serviced six times a week, Monday thru Saturday. A mechanical broom provided post-parade cleanup. The litter baskets may appear to be full because of heavier than normal foot traffic due to the parade, the calendar make-up and, in fact, there appears to be some misuse as well (when residents use baskets for household waste or non-small litter items). The baskets in this area will be closely monitored for signs of chronic abuse and corrective action will be taken if warranted.”
The holiday did not stop cleanup from taking place along Fifth Avenue on Monday, October 12, after the Columbus Day Parade there. DSNY, Mager said, “Did have a cleanup up team for Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue parade because the crowd was anticipated at being in tens of thousands.”