The city Sanitation Department this week promised to investigate an area civic organization’s claim that the agency is engaging in an “unfair practice of issuing tickets to property owners in the middle of the night for garbage dumped outside their properties.”
According to the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, in a statement issued on Monday, it is a common nighttime occurrence for people to dump trash outside Jamaica Avenue storefronts. Then, DSNY agents write summonses in the middle of the night, fining the victimized property owners for failing to dispose of garbage that they had actually never seen. These owners, the WRBA said, are getting fined for dumping “they could not possibly have prevented or corrected.” Additionally, the civic detailed how the agents many times take the trash with them when they write the ticket, without providing any photographs to the fined party.
“The property owners have no evidence of the infractions for which they are being fined,” the WRBA noted. “This practice not only adds insult to injury; it also costs struggling business owners hundreds of dollars.”
The community organization indicated that it, too, had been ticketed in the overnight manner. In recent weeks, the WRBA has received Sanitation fines at 1:05 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. for trash dumped long after business hours outside its Jamaica Avenue storefront.
In a message addressed to Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, members of the civic called on her to put an end to the practice. However, “previous efforts to communicate with Sanitation Department personnel have not resulted in any discernible changes,” the WRBA wrote.