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NY1 For You: Scaffolding Used As Garbage Dump In Harlem Apartment Building

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TWC News: NY1 For You: Unused Scaffolding Used As Garbage Dump In Harlem Apartment Building
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Scaffolding has become a garbage can outside a housing development in Harlem, and a tenant in the building is always smelling the effects. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.

The view from William Alvarez's Harlem apartment literally stinks.

"It's an eyesore, soiled diapers, chicken bones, hypodermic needles and glass bottles," Alvarez says.

All the trash is being thrown from windows on the building's upper floors and landing on the scaffolding right outside Alvarez's windows.

"My windows can only be open a certain height because if not, when the bottles come down, they shatter and glass comes in the house," Alvarez says.

The scaffolding has been up around Jefferson Houses in Harlem for the past four years, even though Alvarez says no work has been done. He says initially New York City Housing Authority employees were cleaning up the garbage accumulating on the scaffolding but lately they have left the trash to fester.

"It's disgusting, horrible, it smells really bad. The smell comes into the living room and kitchen area. It's like we have our own little private garbage dump on the second floor here in Harlem," Alvarez says.

"NY1 For You" contacted NYCHA and a spokesperson said in 2010, the agency installed two sidewalk sheds at the Jefferson Houses to protect residents and the public from any falling bricks and debris.

The spokesperson went on to say contractors are cleaning the sheds on a monthly basis and NYCHA staff will make every effort to monitor the sheds and clean them more frequently.

In the next few months, the spokesperson said NYCHA expects award a contract for work to start on the brick and roof repairs at Jefferson Houses.

In the meantime, Alvarez is holding his breath hoping for an end to this messy situation.

NY1 will continue to follow this situation.

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