Rosanna Gennarelli and homeowners everywhere: one. Sanitation Department: zero.
On Friday, December 11, Gennarelli, a 51-year old E. Tremont Avenue resident, was thrilled to find a city-issued trashcan at the Bx40/Bx42 bus stop in front of her house. Gennarelli set off a mini-media firestorm in November when she told her “trashy” tale to the Bronx Times Reporter.
In 2000 or 2001, the MTA extended a bus stop from the corner of E. Tremont and Randall avenues, in front of Pete’s Donut Shop & Restaurant, to the middle of the block between Philip and Randall avenues, in front of several houses.
One of the trashcans stayed on the corner. The other disappeared. The MTA consulted Community Board 10 at a meeting prior to the change but Gennarelli, who works in Manhattan, wasn’t able to attend, she said.
The trouble bubbled when city Sanitation Department workers began to ticket Gennarelli and her neighbors for trash dropped on their sidewalk and lawns by bus users: MetroCard wrappers, soda pop bottles and cigarettes.
Gennarelli fought to have ticket after $300 ticket excused. Senator Jeff Klein wrote a letter on her behalf to the city Environmental Control Board, which hears ticket cases. But Gennarelli was ticketed yet again on Saturday, November 14 and Thursday, November 19. Years ago, when Gennarelli purchased a trashcan for the bus stop with money out of her own pocket, a Sanitation Department supervisor informed her that trashcans were only allowed on corners.
Gennarelli was down in the dumps until her story made headlines and the trashcan appeared.
“I’m delighted,” she said. “The bus riders use it. Before, the sidewalk was filthy. They had no option.”
Gennarelli hopes her triumph will help other homeowners around the city, particularly seniors.
“There are a lot of old people who pay tickets,” she said. “They live on fixed incomes.”
Although Gennarelli has become a minor celebrity in Throggs Neck – a fellow homeowner sent her “fan mail” last week – she referred to her fight as “common sense” and refused to bash the Sanitation Department.
“I appreciated the attention,” Genarelli said. “I think people imagined themselves in the same situation and were upset. But Sanitation and I want the same thing. I want a clean sidewalk. Sanitation wants a clean sidewalk.”
Gennarelli suggested that homeowners in similar binds ask elected officials for help, as she did.
“It shouldn’t have taken so long,” Klein said. “But I’m glad Sanitation finally installed the trashcan.”
The senator and Gennarelli plan to squash Gennarelli’s final trash ticket. The Sanitation Department hadn’t responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 742-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org