June 23, 2016 By Michael Florio
A local business owner is calling on the City to help fight litter on 47th Avenue.
Eric Barthels, owner of Cooldown Juice at 39-11 47th Ave., started a petition this week calling for two trash receptacles on the block.
He wants a trashcan installed on the corner of 39th Place and another on the corner of 39th Street.
Barthels began collecting signatures yesterday and is aiming to have 1,000 signatures by the end of the week. He plans on presenting the petition to Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer by the end of June.
His goal is to get the two receptacles, but believes that even one would make a difference.
“It would be very beneficial to the community,” he said. “We just want a place to put our garbage.”
The one-block stretch of 47th Avenue has several food establishments and is just blocks away from two high schools.
“It is a sheer volume of people with zero trash cans open to the public,” Barthels said. “This is the main reason there is so much trash and dirt on the ground everyday.”
Barthels, who opened his store last fall, said he noticed the issue right away.
“I constantly have to have myself or my employees sweep in front of my shop,” he said. “If not we are in jeopardy of getting ticketed.”
“It is a waste of time, resources, and if we get fined, money,” he said. “We’re sweeping all day long.”
Many of the neighboring business owners have been ticketed and have asked their customers to sign the petition, according to Barthels.
He has reached out to the Department of Sanitation, which came and did an audit that showed that there was not a need for the trashcans, Barthels said.
“They said there wasn’t enough foot traffic to warrant the receptacles,” he said.
DSNY has not responded to request for comment.
“It’s simple—when business owners have to spend hours of their day sweeping up litter, it’s clear there are not enough trash cans,” Van Bramer said. “I have reached out to the Department of Sanitation asking them to install trash cans on this intersection, and will continue to work with residents and local businesses to keep our streets clean and improve our quality of life.”
Those interested in signing the petition can do so at Cooldown Juice. If Barthels does not collect enough signatures he said he will consider implementing an online petition.