Sanitation Response To Garbage Complaints

Remember back in the beginning of August, when we issued the first edition of “Garbage Gazette”? We urged you to contact local leaders and file complaints directly with the Department of Sanitation.

Well, at least one reader, Philip R., listened. And it took nearly two months, but he got a response from Henry Ehrhardt, the director of Customer Relations. We sent a complaint before posting, but haven’t yet received a response. Not sure what that’s about, but here’s Ehrhardt’s letter to Philip, which was CC’d to the commissioner and several local Sanitation overseers:

Dear Mr. R.:
I am writing in response to your E-mail message to Commissioner John Doherty regarding unsanitary conditions in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn.
The Department makes every effort to keep New York City clean for all New Yorkers.  However, current economic conditions have had an impact on the City’s adopted budget.  Litter basket collection is a priority, and in spite of a painful $80 million budget reduction in FY 2010, we have devoted all available resources to servicing baskets in high-density, heavily trafficked areas as often as possible.  In an attempt to service the area to the best degree possible, Deputy Chief Ricci from our Brooklyn South Borough Office reported that additional litter baskets were added to Sheepshead Bay Road.  These baskets are currently serviced seven (7) times a week.  Deputy Chief Ricci also reported that he attempted to contact you several times, but you were not available.
Overflowing litter baskets are often the result of improper use of litter baskets.  Many people put commercial and household refuse in and alongside the litter baskets.  The result is even less accessibility for the people for whom these baskets were intended in the first place – pedestrians.  We are enforcing the law against this abuse, which should help to reduce its incidence. District and Enforcement personnel will continue to monitor the area.
Thank you for writing.
Henry Ehrhardt, Director, Customer Relations
Division of Customer Service and Government Relations
Department of Sanitation
TC (E1084T) (10-1436)
cc:      J. Doherty, Commissioner
J. Montgomery, Borough Chief, Brooklyn South
M. Ricci, Deputy Chief, Brooklyn South
F. Tuzzolino, District Superintendent, BS-15