Jamaica Residents Yearn For A Clean Sweep Of Their Streets
People who live and work in Jamaica, Queens say the area has a big problem with garbage, but they do not necessarily agree on whether city officials or locals need to clean it up. Borough reporter Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
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From the main roads to the side streets, the Jamaica section of Queens is looking pretty filthy these days. At 107th Avenue and 150th Street, the smell is indescribable.
"You can't even walk out into the street without smelling the filth," said one resident.
Parts of South Road and other streets have become illegal dumping spots and a number of other streets are often littered with paper, bottles and other trash.
"They need to do a lot of cleaning up than what they are doing right now. It's bad," said a local.
Residents and business owners say city officials and community board leaders have done little to address this growing issue.
"We have a lot of promises and we continue to have promises.
The community board's district manager said she was too busy to meet with NY1, and that it is up to the residents to keep the neighborhood clean.
Property owners are responsible for cleaning up to 18 inches from the curb in front of their homes or businesses, but Jamaica residents say city officials are not doing their part.
"It takes us to basically clean up too, behind ourselves, but we have to have some help too," said a local.
Residents claim the scheduled once-a-week street cleaning does not always happen.
"Sometimes it doesn't come," said a resident.
The Sanitation Department said 150th Street and Sutphin Boulevard is swept at least five times a week, but midweek the intersection looked the same as it did Monday.
NY1 spoke with sanitation officials on Wednesday to see what could be done to improve the situation and on Thursday morning NY1 was told inspectors did not see any of the trash the station saw.
NY1's Ruschell Boone decided to take another look at the area to see what was going on. When she arrived, she saw a street sweeper tearing through the neighborhood and sanitation workers quickly picking up some of the garbage the station had highlighted.
Sanitation officials say they have been trying to resolve the trash problem, but in the meantime some streets are looking a lot better. Residents who are now calling for a greater crackdown on those who litter and dump in the area are wondering how long it will last.