Boerum Hill Residents Complain About Trash at Nearby School


PS 261 in Boerum Hill has a garbage problem, say local residents who are getting tired of seeing, and, this time of year, smelling, trash strewn in front of the school. According to DNAinfo, the school, at 314 Pacific Street, has been leaving piles of garbage bags out on the sidewalk for years. One 21 year-old woman the reporter spoke to remembers avoiding the stacks of refuse on school’s side of the street when she was just 9 years old.

The school dumps garbage bags on Dean Street daily during the school year and throughout the summer when it is home to various youth programs. It can’t use dumpsters because the city’s garbage trucks don’t have the lifts required to empty them and the city only picks up the school’s garbage three days a week.

Locals have complained to the city and the school about rancid liquid leaking from the bags, flies and papers catching flight and dispersing up and down the block. One resident told DNAinfo, “The sidewalk just gets nasty on that side of the street.”

Have you seen trash building up outside PS 261? What about other schools? Are there similar problems elsewhere?

Trash Buildup from Local School Plagues Residents of Boerum Hill [DNAinfo]

Photo: Claire Angelica via DNAinfo

15 Comment

  • PS132 the Shining Star of Williamsburg has the exact same problem. On the Metropolitan side of the building trash, spoiled milk, corn, whatever was shoved into the lunchroom trash bags uneaten is always all over the sidewalks. Old desks, broken furniture, student papers. It’s disgusting to walk by every single day and Im sure is doing nothing to help the rat problems in the city.

  • All schools dispose of refuse this way in Brooklyn. Maybe it’s an issue of not having a place to put a dumpster. Anyways, life goes on. People find something else to whine about, like ice cream trucks that aren’t locally sourced at playgrounds.

  • At our local schools there’s the same sort of thing except that the rubbish is carefully bundled so it’s neither messy nor an open invitation to vermin.

  • if this is the biggest problem in their neighborhood, you are lucky. this is how every school and large apartment building does it.

  • So sometimes, I am wondering why New York City is not like other big cities in the world where I never see garbage on the street…
    I just came back from a big city in Germany and streets were so clean…and I did not see anything like that there.
    Can someone explain to me?
    I am from Europe originally and it has been 3 years that I live in New York and everybody that visits also do not understand why in New York, we live trash outside…
    No kidding there are rats everywhere.
    Seems like a simple problem to solve…

    • Why aren’t they as clean? because folks like no-permits think it is not a problem or issue. Surprisingly how many are like him. I see my neighbors who have plenty of money for renovations and nannies but somehow sweeping sidewalk and trash is not on their radar.

      • there’s a difference between litter and trash put out to the curb for pick-up. litter is a problem, trash out for collection is not.

        • If not bagged properly it certainly is. It breaks open and spills all over. I doubt you and your kind feel it would be your responsibility to even clean up the mess after the bags spilled over the sidewalk with spoiled foods.
          Cooking grease also leaks and spills. Just look at the sidewalk in front of many restaurants.
          It is oblivious NYers like yourself who are responsible for filthy conditions of our streets

          • what made you make these presumptions about me? you don’t know me.

          • my buildings are consistently the cleanest on the block. neat receptacles, no litter, no flyers, sidewalks swept and hosed. most of my trash guys live on the same block as the buildings and are able to clean up throughout the day. split or ripped trash bags is rarely the cause of litter. it’s the quarter drinks, chip bags, fast food, that people throw on the street. like i said earlier, if the biggest problem in your neighborhood is bagged trash at the curb overnight until pickup, you are lucky. you could have rowdy neighbors, a loud bar, a busy strip with trucks or trains passing all night, homeless shelters, the list goes on and on.

    • Because the Germans, and even moreso the Swis, are the most obsessive compulsive peoples in the world


    • Shmalex, in other U.S. cities, there is a narrow private alley (not very noticeable) between houses behind a high locked gate/fence. In the alley is a large, covered Dumpster where building trash refuge is housed — the trash goes down a chute from the building into the covered Dumpster. The trash collection people have a key to this alley and dump the Dumpster into their trucks, then put it back in the alley. So the trash is covered, which helps with rats, and never touches the streets. In New York, the houses are right up against each other and there is no space between them.

  • there are 2 issues here. custodial staff probably gets to the building and does this task after the sanitation trucks have already passed. no place to put the garbage in school, and sanitation won’t ticket a school, so it gets put on the curb to bake for 20 hours, blow around, get walked over, dogs, etc.

    the public school in our neighborhood has 3 big dumpsters in front that it uses for garbage. i am not sure if the custodians themselves move the bags from the sidewalk to the curb in the morning or how it avoids the problems that other schools tend to have. perhaps other schools have no space to store a dumpster itself as all external areas are being used for student activities.

    the other problem is schools don’t recycle very well. it’s actually kind of shocking how poorly they recycle, given the volume of refuse they produce. sorting trash creates its own discipline that minimizes volume of bags and would concentrate food waste in a smaller number of bags.

  • Yes, all schools dispose of their garbage this way, but it is about time that a better solution to disposing of the daily garbage as well as emptying street garbage cans outside schools on a regular basis so that they do not just overflow was thought of.
    The City used to have open sewers, but a new system was thought of.
    London used to have large piles of Garbage outside some commercial as well as school establishments until the IRA used to plant bombs in them.
    Piles of garbage hide all manner of ills.