If you’re confused about the new garbage collection time soon going into effect – putting out your trash curbside later at night to stave off rodents in the city – you’re not alone.
With so many questions about the new Department of Sanitation (DSNY) trash pickup stipulations, it was fitting that Flatlands Civic Club, Inc. (FCC) brought a representative from Mayor Eric Adams’ office to hash out some of the upcoming changes to collection rules.
“As most of you know, starting April 1st, the city wants trash to be placed curbside after 8 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.,” said Anastasia Yaskova, with the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.
The representative spoke to nearly 20 in attendance at the session, held via Zoom on Thursday, March 23rd. According to Yaskova, the new regulations are still being tweaked so garbage is outside for a minimal amount of time, giving rodents less opportunity to run rampant.
“Additional funding has been allocated for the new program. The DSNY will have to step it up when it comes to collecting in a timely manner. But we’re also making adjustments as we get community feedback,” she said.
One challenge the city may face is tending to public buildings and various multiple family dwellings, like those operated by the New York City Housing Authority. Citywide, these grounds are already riddled with trash collection backup in many communities and dumping is a major concern. Yaskova said all landlords must adhere to the new rules and the Mayor’s office will work with DSNY to ensure that waste pickup is modified accordingly. She noted that it will take time for this program to fully roll out.
A senior resident expressed her concern about recycling electronics since it is illegal to dispose of these items with general garbage. The e-waste recycling law went into effect in 2015 and residents must now bring their TVs and computers to proper collection sites. Alternatively, they can schedule e-waste pickups at their homes with the DSNY.
Joan Gilbert, President of the FCC, asked the rep about keeping the vicinity outside of their homes sanitary as well – but from unwanted odors.
“Now that pot is legal and it’s getting warmer outside, people are on their porches smoking and it’s coming into our homes,” Gilbert said. “It’s a quality of life issue that’s hard to combat, I know, but it’s wafting into the privacy of our own homes where it’s supposed to be a clean-air sanctuary.”
Yaskova agreed that despite the “distasteful odor” and traveling effect of weed from home to home, police cannot execute any type of enforcement for distance of smoking within a private residence – especially if there is no illegal activity taking place.
In other cleanliness news, Community Board 18 (CB18) District Manager Sue Ann Partnow said that the board is working to eliminate graffiti on the building behind the Telco shopping area along East 59th Street.
“We’re working to whitewash the graffiti, but as you all know, that could be an invitation for more vandalism,” Partnow said.
One suggestion to deter vandalism is to recruit local youths to paint the wall with a creative/meaningful mural. Partnow loved the idea, pointing out that she’s willing to work with a school or youth organization to complete a mural if it’s of no cost to CB18.
Additionally, Gilbert had some vital association news to deliver to members, including the possible increase in FCC fees.
“We haven’t raised our membership dues in years and we should consider increasing it from $20 to $25 since we have to account for the cost of Zoom meetings and mailings,” she noted.
Her proposal didn’t receive any opposition from members on the call.
Gilbert is also hoping to honor FCC’s former president Sam Palmer, who passed away in January. Since education was important to Palmer, Gilbert is researching granting a possible “Sam Palmer Scholarship Achievement Award” to local students who need help paying for college. The dollar amount of the scholarship hasn’t been determined, but Gilbert is open to ideas on honoring her predecessor.