Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Storms, Cold Weather Leading to Backup in Garbage Collection

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TWC News: Storms, Cold Weather Leading to Backup in Garbage Collection
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With all the storms and all the cold weather we've been having, it's no surprise that there are still piles of dirty white snow on the streets, but you may have also noticed more piles of garbage, and those two things are related. NY1's Kristen Shaughnessy filed the following report.

When the snow falls, the garbage, recycling and Christmas tree pickups have to wait. Sometimes, they have to wait and wait and wait. 

"It's piling up, and it's getting a little bit hard to go around, especially when you have lots of kids and things in your way," said one resident. "Be nice if it was gone soon, especially the Christmas trees. It's been quite a while on the trees."

"The furniture and everything has gotten really wet and started falling apart," said another. "I wasn't sure what the city was going to do about it. It's kind of been just piling up."

The city has already had more snow than we typically get in an entire winter, and it's only January. Sanitation crews are splitting their time between snow and garbage. 

There are many streets in Brooklyn, like the mayor's, where garbage cans and recycling are out, but have not yet been picked up. On many blocks, including one in Prospect Heights, garbage has been sitting waiting for collection for more than a week.

"People are walking by, they say, 'Oh my God, soon, this is going to be full. We're not going to be able to walk through here,'" said one resident.

Garbage pickup here happens on Tuesday, but last Tuesday, the city got hit by a snowstorm, so pickups were put on hold. Now, there's two weeks of garbage piled up and waiting to be picked up.

Most residents know it is just what to expect in a rough New York winter. 

"I notice it, but I guess I'm cynical," said one resident. "It's part of living in New York."

"It definitely distracts from the beauty of the neighborhood," said another. "It's one of the prettiest parts of Brooklyn, Prospect Park, Prospect Heights. It looks bad, but I'm sure the city will get to it as quickly as possible."

The Sanitation Department has crews working overtime on the backlog. It has also been busy handing out fines to homeowners and landlords who don't shovel their sidewalks walks, issuing more than 2,000 fines in the last three weeks.

Residents have four hours after the snow stops falling to clear their sidewalks. If the snow stops falling after 9 p.m., they have until 11 a.m. the next morning, even if the garbage is still there.

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