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Associated’s Recycling Center Draws Complaints

Photo: QueensPost

May 27, 2010 By Christian Murray

Two Sunnyside residents complained to police about Associated supermarket’s recycling center on 44th Street (located between Greenpoint Ave. and Queens Blvd), at the police precinct meeting on Tuesday night.

Nina and Dan Farrey, who live near the supermarket, claimed that several men congregate around the recycling center, drink alcohol and then fall asleep on the sidewalk. They said it was particularly concerning, since many senior citizens and children live on 44th Street in private houses. The couple alleged that the men also urinate in public.

Farrey said the recycling center had become a hang out area for a  large number of vagrants who are drawn to the first-rate recycling facilities. One recycler told the Sunnyside Post recently that the facility is attractive since it has two plastic machines, two glass machines and one can machine. “It’s all here,” a man said, in broken English.

They said that the manager of the store has been unreceptive to their complaints. The couple said that they have just sent an e-mail to council member Jimmy Van Bramer’s office to make him aware of the situation.

But the police said they were limited in what they could do. They said they could arrest people for drinking alcohol – but not for just being there. Furthermore, the police would suggest to the owner to move the recycling facility indoors– but the owner is not legally required to.

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As I recall the Foodtown on Greenpoint used to have outdoor recycling machines, they were removed several years ago. They still take bottles and cans you just have to bring them into the store and they probably abide by NYS law as to hours and limits as to how many can be redeemed by 1 person
All dealers may limit the number of containers accepted from one person to 240 containers per visit or to 240 containers per day, but only if they have a sign posted stating this limit. This sign must also state that any redeemer may make 48 hour advance arrangements to redeem an unlimited number of empty beverage containers.

Dealers whose place of business is less than 10,000 square feet in size and whose primary business is the sale of food or beverages for off-premises consumption, may limit the number of containers redeemed per person per day to 72 containers, provided that:


simple solution – if the manager refuses to keep this place in order, residents should take their money elsewhere. One thing Sunnyside has going is its choice in local supermarkets. There is no reason people living on 44th should be subjected to filth, drunks and rude comments while walking past, esp if store management won’t listen to reasonable complaints.


I’m sorry for the people that have to walk past or live near that dump. Kudos for the piece. Maybe some NY state authority will actually read it and do something about it.


I feel sorry for everyone involved here. Honestly I would hate to live on that street with the supermarket recycling center there and drunk men there from time to time. I would be upset.
But those people in the pictures have nothing, literally, of a material nature. Therefore these bottles and cans are all they got. Not all of them are drunks…there are moms and kids.

So, I don’t know what the solution is.


One issue is that no other supermarkets in the area seem to have a recycling center though they are all REQUIRED by law to receive recycleables.

Associated is the only supermarket trying to do the right thing.

Other stores don’t want to be bothered.

The solution is to get other stores to comply with the law.


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