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Queens Chronicle

City tackles illegal bins on sidewalks

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:11 am, Thu Dec 5, 2013.

Troubled by those overflowing charity clothing bins where the homeless sometimes sleep? The city is trying to do something about the ones located on sidewalks.

Ignazio Terranova, a spokesman for the Department of Sanitation, told attendees of the Community Board 7 district cabinet meeting Friday at the Queens Botanical Garden that the clothing bins are illegal on all city property, including sidewalks.

“If one is found, it is tagged and a letter is sent to the owner,” Terranova said. “They have 30 days to move it and if not, then the city issues a fine, takes it away and it’s recycled.”

District Manager Marilyn Bitterman believes 30 days is too long a period and asked that the city shorten the time. Terranova agreed, saying the owners wait until the last minute to move them.

“We had a problem with one on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing that the owner moved to another illegal location,” he said. “They are playing movable chess.”

If a bin is on private property, but has been neglected and clothes are overflowing, Terranova said a ticket is issued for a dirty area.

He added that often people who donate clothes in the bins believe the recipients are reputable charities, but noted that many of them are for-profit, with the clothes sold.

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