Does Sheepshead Bay Have More Pigs Than Park Slope?

Photo by Ray Johnson

Now that the Sanitation Department has admitted they don’t care about our streets, we need to begin considering creative solutions to the ever-worsening garbage issue in Sheepshead Bay. Last week, I wrote to Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo:

What would it take to get rid of the public trash cans in the neighborhood, as they’re trying to do elsewhere? Is there a way we can do a trial period (so we can get the cans back if we want them)?

My thinking was that we could try the tactic being used in Community Board 11, which covers Bath Beach, Gravesend and Bensonhurst. In those neighborhoods, the Board asked the city to remove all the cans, and they say the garbage was gone after a few weeks. I’ve asked before if this is a smart idea, since we have some unique issues regarding illegal dumping and commuters. But still, something needs to be done, and, well, there is a logic to the idea that if you don’t have trash cans, they can’t overflow (and residents can’t put their home garbage there).

This was Scavo’s response:

The removing of trash cans is easy, make a call to Sanitation. But, this is not Park Slope. Here in Sheepshead Bay and the surrounding area, trash cans are overflowing. Can you imagine what the streets and corners would look like without any cans? This is not the kind of neighborhood that people keep a tissue in their pocket, here they toss it on the sidewalk. Go to Avenue U and look at any corner can.

I see Scavo’s point, but that naive, optimistic little snot in me takes exception to the idea that “This is not the kind of neighborhood that people keep a tissue in their pocket, here they toss it on the sidewalk.” Nevermind the fact that Bensonhurst ain’t Park Slope, either. I’m more inclined to believe that there are jerks and slobs everywhere, but the majority of people are mindful of others. Will some people drop their tissues? Yeah. But those people probably aren’t waiting to get to a public garbage can either.

Still, I don’t know if removing the garbage cans is the best idea. I’d like to see it tried (with increased enforcement for storefronts). And if not that, then something else. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: creative solutions need to be implemented to fight our growing mess.