Illegal dumping on sidewalks and the grassy areas near the 180th Street IRT train station at Morris Park and East Tremont avenues has created an eyesore and safety hazard for people commuting in the area, according to community officials.
From the Macca Poultry Shop at 605 Morris Park Avenue near Garfield Street, along MTA property lines to East 180th Street, people are dumping debris from their vehicles, including 5-gallon buckets of sheet rocking compound, according to Anthony Vitaliano, chairman of Community Board 11.
Vitaliano said he spoke to Jacqueline Carter, the MTA liaison with community boards, to address the matter, and he was assured she would contact the NYC Department of Sanitation to clean up the trash.
But when the Bronx Times Reporter contacted Carter, she refused to acknowledge that she relayed the board’s complaint to the MTA or whether she even contacted the DSNY as she said she would.
She referred all questions to the agency’s press office.
The MTA press office referred the inquiries to Kevin Ortiz, who handles transit issues, and Ortiz – after viewing a photo taken of the trash on Morris Park Avenue between Garfield and 180th streets taken by CB 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke – said the trash was not exactly on MTA property, so it might be a DSNY matter.
Unlike businesses or homeowners who are responsible to maintain clean sidewalks in front of their properties, MTA defers to the DSNY when matters such as illegal dumping create hazards near its properties according to Warneke.
In the afternoon of Monday, August 21, Warneke said he heard back from the Department of Sanitation that it was going to try to clean up the mess later that evening.
“To my knowledge, it’s the MTA’s responsibility, but they depend on the Department of Sanitation to help them,” Warneke said.
There are also vendors in the area of the 180th Street IRT train station that Warneke said he had reservations about their licenses to be there.
Vendors sell items including avocados, shish kabobs, fresh tropical fruit, and coffee outside the station.
Napkins and used coffee containers dumped in the vicinity of the station are probably coming from the vendors, according to Warneke.
The rest of the trash is coming from people who just discard it there.
For real estate developers trying to get bids on property in the area, “you get a hell of a welcome when you come up Morris Park Avenue,” Warneke said, referring to the eyesore of dumped trash, especially near trees, in the vicinity of the train station.