Post tagged with


As Snow Fades, Trash Concerns Mount

East Village post-storm trashSuzanne Rozdeba With city sanitation trucks busy plowing snow-covered streets, piles of trash have continued to accumulate in the East Village. Limited trash pickups are scheduled to resume today.
East Village post-storm trash

The snow is melting away, but the piles of trash in the East Village keep getting bigger.

“It’s disgusting,” Yolanda Gonzalez, 26, an East Village resident, told The Local on Jan. 3. Staring at a mountain of over 25 bags of trash on Avenue A, she said, “I’m worried about the rats, and about diseases from this garbage. I don’t know why they’re not picking it up. It’s been too long.”

According to the Department of Sanitation, limited pickup resumed today. But as of this morning, residents and businesses that normally have Monday garbage pickups have yet to see the trash disappear.

On Monday morning, Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty held a press conference at Foley Square and told reporters that 1,100 trucks would be picking up trash throughout the city on Monday. He estimated that about 50,000 tons of trash had accumulated since the storm.

“We’re not going to get it all today,” he said, adding that by the end of the day: “I think there’ll be less garbage.”

The pickups cannot come quickly enough for some East Villagers.

“The trash is still out there. Now there are lots of bags, and furniture, and Christmas trees,” said Hugo Ascazubi, 21, an employee at 442 Quality Cleaners on East Ninth Street. Outside the business, there were more than 15 bags of garbage piled up. “People do make comments that it’s gross. It smells. Do you know why they haven’t come to pick it up yet? They haven’t told us anything. I’ll be relieved when it’s gone.”

At East Village Gourmet Deli on Avenue A, 25 bags of garbage created a mini-mountain outside the business. “It’s been a week, and nobody has picked up anything,” said Ali, an employee there. “We have our own garbage picked up privately, but there is still all this other trash. I saw the garbage trucks plowing this morning, but not picking up garbage. They are supposed to come today to pick it up, but nothing yet.”

But some East Villagers were unruffled about the pileups. “I’m not concerned. I’ve seen it before,” said Angel Shea, 54, who’s lived in the East Village for 30 years.

And in at least one instance, the trash piles have been credited with doing some good elsewhere in the city, according to authorities. Vangelis Kapatos, 26, a resident of Hell’s Kitchen, was saved by a huge pile of garbage bags after leaping from his apartment window on the ninth floor of a building on West 45th Street Sunday.

Although regular trash pickups are not expected to resume immediately in the East Village, some hopeful locals have continued to stack bags at the curb.

“We put out our garbage today because it’s supposed to be picked up. If they don’t come today, I’m not worried,” said Duane Zaloudek, 80, who’s lived in the East Village since 1983. “The rats are here, anyway. I’m happy they plowed the streets, and I know there aren’t enough people in the sanitation department to do it all. This was a big snowstorm.”

Colin Moynihan contributed information to this report.

Share your stories about trash collection at The City Room blog at The Times.