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Astoria doesn’t need any more trash cans, Dept. of Sanitation official claims

Town hall meeting Thursday at the Museum of Moving Image

April 7, 2014 By Michael Florio

Don’t expect any more trash cans in Astoria—at least anytime soon.

Iggy Terranova, the community affairs officers from the Department of Sanitation, told residents at a town hall meeting Thursday that the neighborhood has more than enough cans.  He said that Astoria’s litter problem is the result of resident’s illegally dumping their household trash in them.

“If residents didn’t abuse the corner baskets…they would be sufficient,” Terranova said.

Terranova said that there were enough trash cans throughout the commercial district and, therefore, rejected one woman’s call for a trash can to be added at the intersection of Steinway Street and 25th Avenue.

Meanwhile, another resident asked Terranova for garbage cans on 28th Ave, which currently has none.

Terranova shot down her request. “We only put garbage cans on commercial streets,” he said.

Residents in attendance were not satisfied with Terranova’s answers—particularly his claims that the trash cans were abused. However, he said he had witnessed many residents—as with business owners–use the corner baskets to dump their household/store trash.

He said that the Dept. of Sanitation has ticketed some offenders but there’s only so much that the department could do.

Terranova, who happens to be an Astoria resident, said he would gladly walk around the neighborhood and point out to people how the garbage cans are being abused.

Councilman Costa Constantinides, after the meeting, said he plans to speak with the Dept. of Sanitation to get more cans added.

Constantinides has recently introduced a bill that would require daily trash can pick-ups, which has 12 co-sponsors and is being heard in the council’s sanitation committee. Currently, the trash is picked up six days a week in Astoria.

Constantinides is trying to combat Astoria’s trash problem on several fronts. A number of workers from The Doe Fund are now sweeping the streets throughout the district. They started on April 1.

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5 Comments

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Sam B.

I travel frequently to different neighborhoods in the city, and I must say Astoria is one of the dirtiest, especially in the Ditmars/31st St. area. I think those asking for more garbage cans are off-base. It sounds counterintuitive, but more cans don’t necessarily mean less litter. Witness the MTA’s plan to remove receptacles from many subway stations. And plus, more cans would mean more required pick-ups, and that will probably not happen.

The photo accompanying this story begs the question: Why aren’t storekeepers sweeping the sidewalks? Fine them frequently and they’ll get the message.

I suppose litter is also reflective of a rather crass community mentality, and I have no idea how the change that. So why not create a local business improvement district, which could provide enhanced sanitation services?

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Adrienne Crisos

Astoria needs more public garbage cans! I am a homeowner, and a huge problem I face is pedestrians regularly throwing their trash and dog waste in my private (residential) garbage can because they can not find a public garbage can. I get very angry when I see this, and when I have to properly dispose of their trash (I’ve had people leave open plastic bags of dog waste in my bin, full cans of soda that spill everywhere, take-out containers, etc). I properly dispose of my waste and I recycle. When the city does not provide enough public garbage cans, they create a huge problem for all of Astoria: residents, store owners, and homeowners. If my trash is not properly set out, bags sealed, recycled items in clear bags, etc, the dept. of sanitation DOES NOT PICK IT UP. But I can’t control pedestrians who have no common courtesy and treat my private garbage can like a public garbage can. I believe it’s a two fold problem: not enough public garbage cans, and pedestrians being inconsiderate of other peoples private property. Astoria has grown tremendously, and by now there should be a public garbage can on every street corner if we are going to have a clean and beautiful Astoria.

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maria anna mavromichalis

so astorians abuse the sanitation dept huh? how about when the sanitation dept abuses the astorian residents when we were properly take out our residential garbage & it can go days or weeks until its picked up but then we have to live in fear of getting a ticket that we may not be financially possible & also disabled to do otherwise. how about them apples!!!!!!!! I guess you guys can get away with what you want but we the citizens get abused & raped but your messed up systems I thought this was America not a third world country.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Robert Taggerson

Terranova is correct. More trash cans brings more trash. Store owners should not be using city waste baskets for their pricate garbage and neither should residents. Unfortunately with so many ilegal conversions in Astoria the corner baskets become the dumping grpund for household trash that would otherwise be put out for refular residential collection. The answer is in better enforcement, adding more cans simply creates more trash that overflows on to the street.

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Debra Merino

I went to an Astoria Civic Assoc meeting on 11/6/13 regarding sanitation concerns and Comm John Doherty of the DOS was present. I was advised the same info that household garbage was put in trash cans. I asked for additional containers to be put on 30th Avenue between Crescent St & 31 st. as there are only three not counting the 5 Mt. Sinai have of there own in front of the hospital. 30th Avenue is a commercial area with a supermarket, park, three schools and a hospital not counting 7/11, diners & stores. The same streets on Broadway between 31st St & Crescent St have garbage cans on every corner on both side of the street. How do they rate? They said they would try to put containers out but they are not there. I also called Senator Gianaris office on 12/20/13 to see if he could do anything and nothing has changed. My neighbors try to keep our homes clean but the garbage from the avenue is relentless.
People are slobs but I really believe that more trash containers would be a help.

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