On Tuesday, June 13, a visit from Sanitation Department’s Community Affairs representatives to the Dyker Heights Civic Association meeting brought up upsets around the growing organics program, pick up dates, trash around the community and, overall, a lack of awareness.
“Why do you do Monday recycling? You can’t do that to us,” said Fran Battaglia, citing the frequency of Monday holidays when no trash is collected. “I counted. We have between eight and 10, if you don’t throw in all the other stuff you throw in for the religious stuff, and then we don’t have pickups for two weeks.”
Others in the room concurred.
“If there’s a holiday, they don’t pick up garbage. If you put out the garbage they skip until the next cycle. If there’s recycling, two weeks, you gotta wait two weeks. If there’s snow, you gotta wait a month before the recycling, “ said one resident. “If they drop something, if it breaks, they leave it there.”
According to the DSNY representatives, because of the number of complaints, starting this year trash and recycling will be picked up on Monday holidays after 4 p.m.
“Why don’t we know this?” demanded Battaglia with nods of murmurs of agreement from the other residents. “You don’t notify us in advance.”
Fran Vella-Marrone, president of Dyker Heights Civic Association, recommended a mailing list.
Residents also expressed anger about the expansion of DSNY’s organics composting program.
“Now you have the food component in the house before you take it out. The paper, the glass, the metal and now this recycling. Where am I going to put that?” asked one resident.
Other residents agreed and brought up the cost of biodegradable bags and potential summonses.
DSNY representatives said that, for at least the next year, the program is voluntary and residents do not have to participate, stressing that special bags do not need to purchased and that no one will get summonses for the compost because it is voluntary.
Another resident was upset about the newly implemented split trucks to pick up for the organics program. The split trucks doesn’t allow for the pickup of larger items, according to the residents, who say this has left many of their blocks littered with mattresses and furniture for days.
In addition, two residents contended that a lack of trash cans leaves streets littered outside businesses and churches. They said they knew of friends and local businesses being ticketed while other areas, including outside the local golf course and parks, trash is strewn around.
The DSNY representatives said the department will continue to use the split trucks to support the organics program. But large trash can be put out on the second Monday pick up. Trash cans can be requested on DSNY’s website and violations can be reported to 311.
The DSNY reps encouraged all residents to direct future questions and complaints to 311 or to their office.