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Astoria pols. try to combat garbage problem

Sept. 25, 2013 By Christian Murray

The streets in Astoria are covered with trash and it’s time they were cleaned up, several elected officials said yesterday.

The politicians, who gathered on the corner of Ditmars Blvd. and 31st Street, claimed that the city needs to step up in helping the community combat the garbage problem. They said that the city had reduced the number of trash-can pickups in recent years– despite Astoria’s growth.

“In recent months I have been hearing far too often from my constituents who are rightfully upset at the state of the streets,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas.  “We all want a clean living environment.”

City Councilman Peter Vallone urged the city to return to two pickups per week—as opposed to one per week. “While the population has increased, trash can pickups have decreased, which has resulted in overflowing cans and garbage on our streets.”

Simotas, meanwhile, is looking to Albany for some relief from the problem.

She plans to introduce a bill in the state legislature that would offer tax incentives to carting companies that partner up with local businesses (via business improvement districts) to keep commercial streets clean. Officials are still working on the details of the bill.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris plans to introduce Simotas’ legislation through the senate chamber. “I have lived in western Queens my entire life and I have always taken pride in the beauty of our neighborhood,” Gianaris said.

“The Astoria I know and love does not have streets covered with litter and overflowing garbage cans on every corner,” Gianaris said.

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