Shore Road Park is in the midst of a garbage epidemic, according to local residents.
Ridgeites living along Shore Road have noticed that garbage pickup along the perimeter of the beloved Bay Ridge park has been occurring at a sluggish pace recently, causing loose garbage and garbage bags to accumulate on the sidewalk and inside the park itself.
“We started noticing it a couple weeks ago. This is not just one weekend of garbage, this is over a week. It’s not being picked up,” said Maryanne Santomauro, who lives across from the park near 95th Street. “There are currently eight garbage bags across from my apartment building. It started with two bags but it’s been accumulating for over a week.”
During a short walk through her area, Santomauro took note of garbage piles by the entrance to the park at Oliver Street and Shore Road, Vinland Playground at 95th Street and Shore Road, and an enclosed baseball field, among other places.
In an attempt to sort out the issue, Santomauro contacted 311, as well as a bevy of local leaders and groups, including Community Board 10.
“We have had many complaints district-wide about garbage pickup at the local parks,” said Josephine Beckmann, district manager of CB 10 which includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton. “The Parks Department did have some pickup issues, but they are being diligent in having the problems resolved. Residents are right. That garbage is being picked up once a week, and it become unsightly and has an odor.”
Beckmann said she had received dozens of complaints from constituents over the last three weeks, with the most recent one coming on Wednesday, June 12. In her talks with the Parks Department, Beckmann was informed that a lack of manpower coupled with recent route changes and fleet issues were to blame for the lack of garbage pickup.
According to the Parks Department, the sheer amount of garbage produced at city parks contributes to pickup difficulties. Summer weather attracts larger crowds to parks, bringing with them higher volumes of trash and illegal dumping. According to the Parks Department, 120 tons of garbage is left behind at city beaches, baseball fields and picnic areas around the city. Despite this, the Parks Department has stated that garbage at Shore Road Park is disposed of regularly.
“NYC Parks shares the community’s concern about litter in our parks, and as such, our crews work very hard to keep Shore Park and Parkway as clean as possible,” said Parks Department spokesperson Maeri Ferguson. “It looks like this is more of an illegal dumping situation than a standard littering/overflowing trash can. Like all of our parks, Shore Parkway is cleaned regularly.”
This article originally appeared in the Brooklyn Reporter.