The city Department of Sanitation’s planning practices are trash, according to some elected officials.
In the dense humidity Sunday morning, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Assemb. Deborah Glick and State Sen. Brad Hoylman gathered on a stretch of East 10th Street between First and Second avenues, where they denounced the parking of sanitation trucks in the area for nearly a year. Hoylman’s office distributed a copy of legislation he vowed to introduce, which would bar garbage trucks from parking on city streets overnight.
“Something really stinks here, frankly, and it’s not just the garbage trucks,” said Hoylman, who met with the city Department of Sanitation alongside other elected officials, but described the discussions as unproductive. “If you’re telling me that the greatest city in the world with the most complicated and sophisticated infrastructure can’t find another location to park its garbage trucks other than a city street, well then, that is a true failure of this city administration.”
After the department’s lease expired in a West 30th Street garage in September, the department has been parking about 21 trucks on East 10th Street as well as on East 26th and East 60th streets, according to Maloney.
The department has been searching for space in a garage in Manhattan that meets the needs of its fleet, according to press secretary Dina Montes. She said the real estate market has made the hunt difficult.
“In order to provide uninterrupted and reliable service to Manhattan’s east side, we needed to move equipment closer to the area it serves,” Montes said in a statement. "The Department of Sanitation is committed to being the best neighbors possible at this location.”
The vehicles remain on East 10th Street from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday, according to Maloney. She said her office has received numerous complaints about their presence.
“It’s increased smell; it’s decreased quality of life; it’s attracted rodents; and it doesn’t belong on a residential block,” Maloney said. "They need to develop an immediate solution.”
Marian Caracciolo said her relatives have been reluctant to visit her East 10th Street home.
"My nieces and nephews won’t come visit me now," Caracciolo said. "You don’t see kids playing out here on the street anymore."
Alfonso Santaeo, a barista at Tarallucci e Vino on the corner of 10th Street and First Avenue, said the odor is driving away customers.
“They smell it, but they understand it’s outside, and we can’t really do anything about it,” Santaeo said.
Many now opt to eat inside, where table seating is a little more limited, he said.
“If there’s any chance they can remove these trucks — because we do smell it — that would be a great thing to do," Santaeo said.