District 43 City Council candidate Liam McCabe this week brought the concerns of his Bay Ridge community directly to the Mayor – literally.
McCabe cleaned the littered streets of Barwell Terrace and then held a press conference to denounce the policy changes that the City’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) made that have adversely impacted residents of his community. After in which, the candidate drove the collected trash to Gracie Mansion where Mayor de Blasio resides.
“The mayor wants the people of Barwell Terrace to put their trash in front of their neighbor’s homes. Let’s see if the mayor will let us put that garbage in front of his home,” said McCabe.
After a short time at Gracie Mansion, Daniel Abramson, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit Brooklyn Borough Director, came out to speak to McCabe. Mr. Abramson agreed that the Mayor’s Office would come to Bay Ridge to meet with the residents directly and listen to their concerns, said McCabe.
Residents living in this section of Bay Ridge are plagued by an unfortunate trash conundrum. Narrow dead-end walkways and alleys flank the one-family homes in Barwell Terrace. Previously, DSNY trucks were able to access the narrow alleys to collect trash, but as of March 14, DSNY upgraded their fleet to larger garbage trucks, therefore making it impossible to drive through the narrow alleys and driveways.
While sanitation handlers have in the past dismounted the trucks to physically walk down the alleys to pick up the garbage, DSNY says employees are no longer allowed to leave a truck to collect trash as it poses a safety threat for their staff, according to the DSNY. Instead, residents have been instructed to place trash in front of the homes of their closest neighbor.
The trash situation in Bay Ridge has been a platform of McCabe and other candidates running for the city council seat, which includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bath Beach and Bensonhurst.
The focus has been on DSNY’s inability to navigate Brooklyn’s landscape as well as the illegal home conversion crisis that continues to put pressure on the city’s infrastructure.
The community has been active in their fight to reform garbage. As early as March 27, only two weeks after the DSNY policy change, local Community Board 10 and its Environmental Committee held a meeting to address the DSNY’s changes in services. Borough President Eric Adams, and term-limited City Councilmember Vincent Gentile were in attendance.
At the meeting, constituents raised questions about DSNY’s decision to disallow transit pick ups on several key blocks as well as the city issuing excessive litter ticketing in the community.
“I hope that we found a solution for the people of Barwell Terrace and the other terraces and walks in Bay Ridge,” says McCabe.