Menchaca Funds To Tackle Trash On Sunset Park’s Fifth And Eighth Avenues

An overflowing trash can lines one of the corners on Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park. City Councilman Carlos Menchaca last week announced $200,000 in additional sanitation funding to help keep corner waste baskets from crowding  busy corridors in Sunset Park and Red Hook.   Photo by Heather Chin.

The battle to clear overflowing trash cans along Eighth Avenue is getting some help from City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park), who earmarked $50,000 for extra Department of Sanitation (DSNY) pick-ups of corner waste baskets along the shopping corridor, which is the heart of Sunset Park’s Chinatown.

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

“Sunset Park’s Eighth Avenue is at the center of a vibrant and successful neighborhood, but this area faces sanitation and public safety challenges,” said Menchaca of the reason for the allocation of council district discretionary funds towards the project.

An additional $150,000 is also designated for street cleaning and trash removal — both for Eighth Avenue and portions of neighboring Fifth Avenue and Van Brunt Street in Red Hook — by workers with the nonprofit Association of Community Employment Programs (ACE).

Menchaca described their presence as an extension of their existing work in the area.

“By now, residents and local business owners have seen these familiar red shirted ACE associates working on the avenue, removing litter, bagging trash and working hand in hand with the DSNY,” he said.

Fifth Avenue also already benefits from four-day-a-week supplemental sanitation provided by the Sunset Park 5th Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), between 38th and 64th Streets. ACE workers provide service on some of the remaining days, between 38th and 48th Streets.

Specific corners and pick-up times have not yet been chosen for any of the targeted locations — Menchaca’s office told us they are pending collaboration with DSNY and Community Board 7 (CB7) on recommended areas most in need of attention.

For their part, CB7 has also been aware of the “ongoing concern.”

“The areas around the [N station] subway and 60th Street, as well as 42nd and 39th Streets, and wherever there is a bus stop” are often areas mentioned in resident complaints, said CB7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer. “We have no running list, though.”

Additional trash can maintenance is “something we welcome and is definitely a benefit for constituents,” Laufer added.

This isn’t the first time that Eighth Avenue has been the subject of sidewalk and trash clean-up efforts. In 2013, the nonprofit Brooklyn Chinese American Association and then-City Councilmember Sara Gonzalez launched a dual trash basket pick-up and community education campaign to remind residents and merchants not to dump garbage bags in the public cans. And in 2014, local organizations, politicians, and banks partnered with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to kick off an “I Invest In 8th Avenue” initiative.