Letter: Sanitation should create owner-assist program to tackle illegal dumping issues

illegal dumping
Illegally dumped furniture off of exit 5 of the Bronx River Parkway in the Van Nest neighborhood of the Bronx.
Photo Yesenia Barrios

To the Editor,

You gave great coverage to the position of the Sanitation Department in dealing with illegal dumping.

It is not the fault of the property owner that there are slobs among us. In defense of those innocent owners, it seems to me a misdirected approach to the problem. The Sanitation Department should obtain direct evidence that the owner is the perpetrator of the mess.

In my situation, my vacant lot is totally neglected by the Sanitation Department. They refuse to pick up from the front of my lot, and I have to drag any garbage across the street to be picked up in front of my house. I have been issued summonses for purported trash because of high grass. The Sanitation Department also has made claims of rat infestation at the same time that the Chinese restaurant on White Plains Road has an “A” rating. Several times I have seen the Sanitation patrol car targeting my property. They never seem to find the dumpers. It’s easier to abuse the owner.

It is my opinion that all vacant properties, whether dumping sites or not, are being targeted to force the owners to sell or build. If this continues, there will be no greenery in NYC to clean the air and soak up the heavy rains.

It would be much better to have the Sanitation Department establish an owner-assist program to operate from April 1-Oct. 1, to help with trash removal, grass/hedge cutting and garden planting. Another program could deal with winter snow shoveling. These would be jobs for youth that would be screened by the Sanitation Department at the request of the property owner. Participating youth would be getting work experience and healthy activity, and get a decent reference for further employment. They would be earning for further education and to begin an IRA. They would assist, not interfere with the Sanitation Department.

As a senior citizen, it makes no sense to me to abuse home and property owners. Try a different approach.

Mary Duggan

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