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Several Sunnyside business owners get hefty tickets for trash, claim they’re being unfairly targeted

Cooldown Juice

April 4, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

Several Sunnyside business owners are claiming that they have been targeted by the Department of Sanitation and have received unfair citations for trash on the sidewalk outside of their stores.

Eric Barthels, owner of Cooldown Juice at 39-11 47th Avenue, said that he and several other business owners on the block have gotten tickets in the last week for tiny infractions that would not normally be noted, though the Department of Sanitation denies that the block is being targeted.

Other businesses that received tickets included Taj Mahal Grocery at 39-14 37th Avenue, Star Grocery and Deli at 45-86 39th Place, and Touch of Beauty Unisex Salon at 39-11 47th Avenue next door to Cooldown Juice, Barthels said.

Barthels said that he left his shop to run an errand around 10:30 a.m. yesterday, and when he returned around 11:15, he found that he had received a citation for trash outside of his business.  He said that there was only a single banana peel on the ground at the time.

He said that he saw the inspector down the street and ran after him to ask him about the ticket, and was told that Mayor Bill de Blasio had requested extra scrutiny of the blocks on 47th Avenue between 39th Street and 40th Street to keep it clean, but that the inspector would not have normally given him a ticket.

Barthels also called the inspector’s supervisor, who he said confirmed that the crackdown was due to de Blasio’s wishes.

“We have fought for better sanitation on this block and are willing to do what it take to make it clean but believe is it unfair to be specifically targeting and ticketed for unreasonable infractions,” Barthels said. “These are mom and pop shops, struggling small businesses, it’s unfair that we are targeted.”

The summons that Barthels received charges $100 for the infraction if the fee is mailed in immediately, or up to $300 if it is delayed.

“It’s not the $100, it’s the unfair targeting that I care about,” Barthels said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Sanitation denied that the block was being targeted and said that the story about de Blasio requesting that the block be targeted “does not sound accurate.” He added that anyone that receives a violation notice could appeal to the Environmental Control Board.

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Life terms for repeat offenders! And also to those who don’t shovel sidewalks during and after snowfalls.


You can put 1000 – 3 ton trash bins that say “deposit trash here” in huge letters and the people around there will still throw the trash on the sidewalk or street. People that come here think they are still in the 3rd world hut that they snuck in here from. You can take the animal out of the jungle but…….

Shocking statement that has no business on the internet

Given that I’m not personally familiar with that block, I can’t judge whether the crackdown is warranted or not.

I will therefore abstain from either attacking or praising DeBlasio regardless my previously held political views.


The cans get removed because they get filled with illegally discared trash from households and vehicles then overflow onto the street. Illegal dumping in trash bins is an issue all over the city.


If the cans are full empty them more often. If people are illegally dumping, then enforce the law. Removing trash cans to prevent dumping is akin to closing banks to prevent robberies, it may work on paper but it is a lazy bullshit solution.

4 foot CVS receipt, I believe thats my record

i am on the Board of my residential building just 2 blocks away, weve gotten 3 trash violations in the past year for $100 each, we cant control random trash bags which the wind carries into the air all day long. Thompson Hill needs covered trash cans that can contain the trash.

The sanitation people know its easy money because people cant possibly pick up all the trash that blows onto their properties all day long

Maybe de blasios tryin to raise money for all the Trump Tower overtime for police, need to protect Melania and Baron. Little Barons gonna run the world one day!

Sunnyside Resident

Who’s responsibility is it when it snows? Property owner. Who’s responsibility is it when the property owner leases his space to a tenant that produces disposable cups and napkins etc? Otherwise known as “TRASH.” What’s fair is fair. You belong to a community, and you are responsible for how your business impacts your community. That means keeping your fucking sidewalk clean. That also means picking up trash that is not yours, like your neighbor does, and his neighbor, and his neighbors neighbor. The community picks up your garbage that blows into other people’s property.

You get, so you give back. That means cleaning your sidewalk periodically. Your store is in somebody’s neighborhood. I know it’s too much for individualists that care about nobody but themselves to worry about. They think they live in a vacuum and everything they do affects only them.

Bart Stone

Spoken like a true tenant with no actual responsibilities Sunnyside Resident. My building gets periodically dinged and we have a proper maintenance crew that does our trash the right way. It’s literally impossible to comply with the City’s demands – they want to hand out the tickets to raise money. Find me a building that doesn’t get ticketed, oh wait they don’t exist. Good for these businesses for speaking up and putting a spotlight on this government racket!


You live in U.S not some third world country. People now a days think they can do whatever here in the U.S. If you can’t follow then go back where you came from, filthy people don’t belong here.

just dont throw it on the ground

simple solution is to have all merchants provide a bin outside of their business as most of the items was purchased in their stores and the wrappers thrown on the payment by slobs- i know… the DSNY should provide bins on the corners of busy intersections but that wont happen.


If you think de Blasio cares about and has targeted one single section of one single block in Sunnyside, I have a bridge to sell you.


This sounds like the pretext for/beginning of a shakedown. DeBlasio has never heard of, much less care about, some random block in Queens


Doubt its a shakedown. Probably a quota. The inspector got caught off guard and made up the DeBlasio story so he could keep on moving. They need to start coming down hard on pedestrians who are seen littering, including smokers. That will do more than harassing a store owner who has no control over who walks past his store.

Garbage Talk

People litter. They are selfish and have no civic pride. Those that do suffer. When you live amongst swine, you live in their filth.


That stretch of 47th Ave consistently features a ton of sidewalk litter. Street gets a lot of foot traffic from nearby schools, plus often are people gathered on the corner of 47th Ave/39th Place hanging outside either of the corner delis. Add that to the fact that there aren’t many, if any, garbage cans on 47th Ave and the street gets turned into a landfill. While I don’t think it’s fair to single out well-meaning businesses like the juice spot, something does need to change, because the street’s often in a disgusting state, and stays that way for quite a while.

Eric Barthels

You are completely correct. Last summer the community got together and petitioned for a trash bin. We got it after many signitures and a letter from both Cathy Nolan and jvb. 3 weeks later sanitation took it away.

Concerned Sunnysider

Agreed. What with the BID rates and other overheard small businesses have to pay already its shameful they have to be socked with fines for litter passersby throw on the street in front of their businesses for lack of a nearby garbage can.

Far worse is businesses that don’t clean their sidewalks but I see no evidence that many businesses get fined as evidenced by the many buildings that simply let it sit and melt.


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