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Neighbors, Let’s Talk About All The Trash In Carroll Gardens


Neighbors, have you noticed how absolutely filthy our neighborhood has become? Everywhere one looks, there is litter on the sidewalk and in the streets. The worst are Smith and Court Street, where the public garbage cans are overflowing with refuse on a regular basis. Why is that?

When I first moved into Carroll Gardens in 1985, it was a working class Italian neighborhood. Sure there was garbage littering the streets, but many residents regularly swept in front of their houses and kept an eye on neighbors who did not.  It certainly was a lot cleaner than it is now.

These days, brownstones in Carroll Gardens sell for millions, but it sure does not look like a million dollar neighborhood around here.  Just look at the photos above, which we took in the past few days.
Our streets are a lot busier than they were just a decade ago. There are definitively more residents living here now as several tall developments have been constructed here.  Also, our local eateries attract people from other neighborhoods and there is a whole lot more foot traffic, especially on the week-ends.  
All this should prompt our local government to make sure that we get the proper trash pick-up.  Obviously, that has not been the case judging by how full the public trashcans are.  
So what can we do about this?
-Obviously,  produce less trash ourselves and pick up after ourselves.  We also are responsible for sweeping the sidewalks in front of our own houses.
-Make sure people know that the public trashcans are not for residential trash. (Too many times, local residents just dump their trash bags and broken pieces of furniture at the corner.
-Talk to the business owners on Court and Smith Streets to ask that they join in the effort.  
It is their responsibility to keep the sidewalk and curb of their establishment clean. 
-Call 311 and make a complaint to the Sanitation Department.
-Contact Community Board 6 at  718 643-3027 or Info@BrooklynCB6.org to ask for help in addressing this problem
-Make a call to Councilman Brad Lander’s office at 718-499-1090.
Councilman Lander, who is now in his third term (thanks to the 2008  Council vote granting then-Mayor Bloomberg and City officials an exemption to the two-term limit) should be advocating for proper services that better reflect our current community need.
Frankly, in the past few months, we have received more emails from his office regarding the upcoming national election than anything concerning his constituents’ more local needs. Until he is elected into higher office, if he chooses to seek it, his primary concern should be his district, not Washington.
More development is on the horizon if the proposed Gowanus Rezoning, backed by Councilman Lander, goes through. The rezoning from manufacturing to residential will bring thousands more to the neighborhood. How will we cope if we are not getting the simple services like proper trash pick up we need now?
We need to get a handle on this situation.  Carroll Park is overrun with rats, people have reported seeing rats in their front yards, our children walk past overflowing, smelly garbage on their way to and from school.  Is this really happening in our ‘beautiful brownstone neighborhood?
We would love to hear what you have to say and encourage you to help come up with a solution.

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