Some residents and business owners are calling on the city Department of Sanitation to add more pickup times for the public trash bin in Coleman Square and perhaps add more cans to the site.
There is only one trash can in the square, which is home to several businesses and the Howard Beach-JFK Airport subway station.
“The Coleman Square station constantly remains an eyesore for our community,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) said in a recent letter to Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia about the issue. “There are simply not enough trash cans or a reliable pick-up schedule to accommodate the volume of litter that is produced in this area.”
In his letter to Garcia, Goldfeder stated he saw the problem as “a matter of public health.”
The trash can at the Coleman Square station is usually overflowing and residents and business owners near the area say they have seen birds and rats feed on the garbage and spread it around the neighborhood.
Curbside pickup around Coleman Square is Wednesdays and Saturdays and the Sanitation Department typically empties public receptacles the same days.
On Monday, two days after the last scheduled pickup and two days before the next, the bin at 159th Road and Coleman Square had already been filled to the top.
At last month’s Hamilton Beach Civic meeting, several residents voiced their concerns to Assemblyman Goldfeder’s office over the rate at which the trash receptacle fills up at Coleman Square.
“People are urged not to litter, to place their trash in the garbage pails but when the pails are overflowing it winds up on the ground,” said Roger Gendron, president of the West Hamilton Beach Civic Association. “Increased service would only help keep our neighborhood clean.”
Frances Scarantino, owner of Reach for the STARS daycare center in Coleman Square, added that weather conditions often cause the garbage to blow out of the can and around the square.
“It’s like a wind tunnel,” she said. “Unfortunately it’s on the business owners to clean up even though it’s not our trash.”
Scarantino said some business owners in the square do not necessarily want more cans because it would attract more garbage, they just wanted more pickups.
“More cans would attract more garbage because people often dump their own garbage there,” she said. “What we need is for the Sanitation Department to pick up more often.”