I.S. 192 trash overflow

Trash has accumulated behind the Piagentini-Joes campus on the Throgs Neck Expressway Service Road. The campus custodial staff is struggling to dispose of refuse related to the closure of I.S. 192. Photo by Victor Chu

I.S. 192 graduated its last eighth grade class on Monday, July 6. Teachers, administrators and students are gone from the Piagentini-Jones campus but a mountain of I.S. 192 trash remains. If you’ve driven on the Throgs Neck Expressway Service Road recently, you may’ve noticed the trash behind Piagentini-Jones. Neighbors want the campus’ custodial staff and the city to secure the trash; it floats into traffic and onto Hollywood Avenue.

An exasperated Hollywood Avenue resident addressed the problem at the Throggs Neck Home Owners Association meeting on Tuesday, June 30. Skunks frequent the schoolyard, she said. Three small academies will operate out of the building in 2009-2010: the Urban Assembly of Civic Engagement, the Urban Institute of Mathematics and the Mott Hall Community School. The latter, a new school, will replace I.S. 192.

TNHOA president Lynn Gerbino mailed an advisory letter to Piagentini-Jones campus administrators and Community Board 10 on Monday, July 6. I.S. The campus is under renovation, its playground a staging area. I.S. 192 does possess a trash compactor but the machine is out of commission, a staff member said. It was moved to make way for the renovation. The trash in question appears to be school-related, rather than renovation-related. Department of Sanitation workers visit the campus to pick up trash on Tuesdays and Fridays – not often enough, the staff member said. DOS workers also pick up recycling on Fridays.

There has always been a large amount of trash to pick up at the end of the school year, more this year thanks to the Mott Hall Community School and I.S. 192 move. The Piagentini-Jones custodial staff has stored some trash inside the school to compensate, the staff member said.

Part of the problem has nothing to do with the campus or the city. Someone has been stopping by the building to slice trash bags and collect bottles for return, the staff member said. School custodians pick up trash inside the schoolyard but aren’t responsible for litter that’s already floated away. On Friday, June 26, DOS workers refused to pick up trash at the campus – too messy, the staff member said. Despite the Mott Hall Community School and I.S. 192 move, DOS won’t schedule an extra stop at Piagentini-Jones.

“We have no control over [someone slicing trash bags],” spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said.

CB10 district manager Ken Kearns had not heard of the trash problem but said he would phone DOS and the School Construction Authority. Assemblyman Michael Benedetto’s chief of staff, Ben Randazzo, attended the June 30 TNHOA meeting and promised to contact campus administrators.

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