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Litter Problem On 47th Ave Sparks Petition For New Trash Cans

Via Eric Barthels

Via Eric Barthels

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.47th ave litter

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.

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Click for Comments 
Southside is a slum

What about the tire shop? That’s illegal to have a compressor in a residential building. This part of the neighborhood is disgusting


Yes that tire shop is creepy. I feel bad for the teenage girls that have to work past that shop to go to school or by those even creepy guys that hang outside the bodega.

Cleveland Brown

Think this guy is only doing this to promote his business. Lived on 39th my whole life and never seen his shop. Businesses dont last on that Avenue with the exception of the Bodegas..By this time next year he wont have this problem. .sorry to say

clean streets please

And shop that sells lotto tickets, cigarettes, candy, coffee etc. should be made by the city to supply a garbage can outside of their premises. Not defending the DSNY in any way but im sure they just can’t keep up with the amount of garbage we create. Merchants are meant to have their garbage picked up by a private contractor which some don’t and if there is a public bin outside then they use that. Observing the garbage thrown on the streets it’s all item described in the above.

Kramden's Delicious Marshall

There are a lot of slobs in this neighborhood. It’s fast becoming a third World dump.

Dorothy Morehead

When I had Bliss restaurant on Skillman and 46th Street, people would throw anything and everything on the black plastic bags put out for the carting company to pick up. The carter would pick up the bags and everything else fell onto the sidewalk. Sanitation would always come early–before the restaurant staff arrived to clean up–and I would get cited for the litter. I wrote several times requesting a litter basket and finally, at a community board meeting, the head of DoS was there and I asked him directly for a litter basket. It has made a huge difference but it’s important to get the ones with the tops that have small openings or they will be used for household trash.


It’s ridiculous I walked from Ymca 33rd street with a banana peel in my hand and it wasn’t until 40st I found a garbage can ..Forget 43rd avenue I don’t think there one in a 15 block radius. I want to thank the residents that have put out bag bags on their premises so we have something to put the trash in.
So not only has 47ave have the problem, Sunnyside has a problem.


It’s true lots of garbage cans were taken off the streets years ago, to save the city money I assume. The few that are around are usually pretty full. Most of the litter seems to be wrappers from things people snack on like candy, fast food etc, while they’re walking to work or whatever. I assume people just give up on finding a garbage can cos there isn’t one anywhere near them so they litter. And they need better cans, like the ones that close because on windy days the open ones just make more litter.

jack donovan

People are a bunch of slobs ,its to hard for them to carry a wrapper or tissue a few more feet


They’re not an ice cream parlor and you can’t just put out a trash can on the street. That would surely get them fined. The city had to put them otherwise they won’t be collected from by sanitation.

Del Toro

I agree with DD, even if you put a trash can, what makes you think these animals will actually use it?


He did just get a bunch of new cans he had to ask the public how to spend the extra money and how to do his job because he’s a complete waste of a salary and tax payers time. This is just another example of how he doesn’t support any small business in his own sector. This poor guy reaches out to get a petition done cause JVB doesn’t come out of his hole and see this going on. Or chooses to ignore it.
It’s not just on 47th Ave it’s all over sunnyside and woodside. He blames the sanitation dpt and they say not enough foot traffic. But these over paid sacks of shit are raking in huge salaries and kick backs for doing nothing. Makes me sick.


I never litter and rarely use trash cans- lately, when I get the receipt from returning a library book I throw it in the one on the corner of 43rd & GP. There’s a trash can on the corner of 43rd & 48th avenue and it’s always full. Most likely, it’s not because pedestrians are tossing gum wrappers and small pieces of refuse but a local resident is dumping household trash into it. That’s the problem- inconsiderate neighbors. A trash can on every corner wouldn’t matter to some people; unfortunaltey, there are too many of them.


you have alot of illegal apartments and that is why alot of trash is around and also that is why the trash cans are always full –


Great idea to get more trash cans. That is, if people do use them. I’ve seen people toss garbage on the ground even when there is a trash can within a few feet of them. I myself have never looked around and in the absence of a garbage can, thrown my trash on the ground. Wasn’t raised that way, and don’t behave like an animal.

Eric Barthels

Some people will always act disrespectful. Some will always use trash cans (like you and I) and some will use if convenient. The entire block is small businesses and we are just hoping for an opportunity to help clean up the street (and stop getting fines.)


Good luck–I’m sure getting some trash cans there should be the least that the Sunnyside Business Development or some other organization can do for you guys.


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