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Fourth Ave. trash tower - No pickups for new condos

More condominiums along Fourth Avenue mean more people. More people mean more garbage.

That doesn’t necessarily mean more garbage pickups on Fourth Avenue, officials said.

As more and more high-rise condominiums near completion on Fourth Avenue, the city’s Department of Sanitation (DOS) said that they currently have no plans to increase pickups on the soon to be commercial turned residential stretch.

The DOS underwent a litmus tests of sorts last week when neighbors of NOVO, located on Fourth Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets, were wondering why their new neighbors garbage had to be piled up on Fifth Street instead of Fourth Avenue, where the building’s front entrance is located.

Residents of Fifth Street near Fourth Avenue said that once residents moved into NOVO, the garbage began piling up on Fifth Street every Monday and Thursday. When workers at NOVO were asked why they carted the garbage all the way around the corner, they had a simple response: the DOS told them to.

Members of Community Board 6 and the DOS have reportedly scheduled a meeting to discuss the complaints of Fifth Street residents.

Yet, after an inspection of Fourth Avenue near NOVO, DOS officials said that Fourth Avenue pick-ups to handle NOVO’s growing pains is not in the cards.

“We took a look [on Fourth Avenue],” DOS spokesperson Kathy Dawkins explained. “It’s a major thoroughfare with no parking, so there is no way that we can get curb access.”

“Unless you want us to squeeze between cars with bags of garbage, it’s not going to happen,” Dawkins said, claiming that the garbage pick-up will remain on Fifth Street.

Garbage pick–ups regarding new condo developments along Fourth Avenue will be gauged on a case by case basis.

Community Board 6 District Manager said that the DOS’s line in the sand regarding Fourth Avenue garbage pick-ups is systemic of poor infrastructure planning.

“The reality is that these projects weren’t subject to public review,” Hammerman said. “They were all built as of right. While Community Board 6 supported the up-zoning of Fourth Avenue, no one ever planned where the kids were going to go to school, where all the sewage was going to go and how all the garbage is going to be picked up.”

“It’s a quality of life impact that needs careful consideration,” he said, adding that CB6 was still planning to meet with the DOS about garbage collection around NOVO. “We need to balance out both the interests of the people who have just moved in as well as those who have lived there for a long time.”

Calls to NOVO about the garbage issues were not returned as this paper went to press.

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