In the Elmhurst area of Queens, residents expressed disgust over a long-standing litter problem near the Woodhaven Boulevard subway station that, following a NY1 call to the Department of Sanitation, the city has recently taken measures to improve. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
For those living and working in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, heaps of litter scattered near the Woodhaven Boulevard subway station has been a prolonged site of disgust.
"It's kind of disturbing to look at," one resident says. "It's usually pretty filthy. There's trash along there and then definitely on the grass part."
"It's really a dumping ground is what it is," says resident Daniel Hirsch. "People going to the mall, coming off the subway and just throwing the trash around the station because there's really nowhere for them to throw it away."
Residents say the litter was a problem for years, only made worse by local businesses also dumping their garbage on the ground, causing pigeons and rats to infest the area as well.
"It would be really wonderful if they could put some trash cans out that would also be maintained," Hirsch says.
When NY1 called the Department of Sanitation last month, a spokesman claimed crews were cleaning the area when available, but that trash baskets were recently removed because people were not using the bins correctly, using the baskets for household garbage or commercial use rather than for light litter.
The spokesman did say, however, that the DSNY would put three litter baskets back in the area on a trial basis.
NY1 revisited the area to see if the DSNY followed through with its plan and found three new litter baskets placed on different corners near the subway station and a lot less trash lying around.
"Within the first couple of days of the trash cans being put out here, we saw a really big improvement," Hirsch says.
Residents hope this improvement is finally a permanent one.