Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Outdoor Recycling Containers Come to Busy Brooklyn Locations

More and more, people are asked to separate recyclables from other trash indoors. Outdoors, it’s still “one size fits all,” as pedestrians throw all sorts of refuse—candy wrappers, half-eaten donuts, flyers for sales at drugstores, newspaper—into sidewalk trash receptacles.

Technically, people aren’t supposed to throw personal trash, such as items they’ve received in the mail, into these public containers, but that doesn’t seem to stop anybody.

Now, the Department of Sanitation is installing 33 new blue and green recycling bins in outdoor locations around the city. An announcement was made on last month at City Hall Park with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilwoman Jessica Lappin and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty.

Nine new recycling bins are being installed in Brooklyn – at McCarren Park in Greenpoint; two in Prospect Park, at the Ninth Street and Prospect Park West entrance and at the corner of Ocean and Parkside avenues; at the intersection of Church and Flatbush avenues; at the intersection of Adams, Fulton and Willoughby streets; at the intersection of Hastings Street and Oriental Boulevard; at the intersection of Avenue S and East 32nd Street; and at the intersection of 44th Street and Seventh Avenue in Sunset Park.

Anyone with even a casual acquaintance with the Brooklyn scene will know that these are some of the busiest locations in the borough. The Ninth Street entrance to Prospect Park, for example, is where concert-goers enter during the summer; the intersection of Church and Flatbush Avenues is the historic center of Flatbush; and the Adams-Fulton intersection is the beginning of the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge.

At these locations, blue bins accept metal, glass and plastic containers. Green bins accept newspapers and other paper products.

Jack Katz, executive director of the Flatbush Business Improvement District (BIDs), said that at the Flatbush-Church intersection, “Trash containers are overflowing on all four corners.” The containers were installed two days ago, he said, so it’s too soon to gauge their effectiveness.

Eugene Patron, a spokesman for the Prospect Park Alliance, said that trash in the park tends to be seasonal. The alliance, a public-private fundraising group for the park, often places its own trash containers within the park, he added.

Patron welcomed the new development, saying that the old-style see-through trash bins, familiar to every New Yorker, are often stolen “or turned upside down and used to place barbecue grills on.”
The effort, according to the Sanitation Department, is being conducted in cooperation with 18 BIDs throughout the city.

The public recycling program was begun in April 2007 as part of the city’s long-term waste management program. Several bins were installed in the city before the current expansion, including one at Front Street in DUMBO.

Story by Raanan Geberer

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