Posted by: Jeffsayyes | September 12, 2009

Trash Spotting Walk Around Jackson Heights – Attn: Helen Sears

In response to the proposal by Helen Sears, Leroy Comrie, and Oliver Koppell to eliminate food vendors on Roosevelt Ave and 37th Ave in Jackson Heights proper, I took it upon myself to stop the speculation and take pictures where trash lies in Jackson Heights, and see who’s fault it was is the problem.

The authors of the bill contend that the food vendors create garbage, traffic congestion, and take business away from tax-paying brick-and-mortar businesses. I contend that we should allow people who want to work and provide for the public do their business without fear from the government. I contend that brick and mortars who serve quality food have no trouble staying in business and the crap of the neighborhood should fall (ex. Taqueria Coatzingo vs American Chicken).

On Saturday, Aug 1st at 630pm I took a picture of every food vendor and every area where trash was building up. Sure, I am in favor of the vendors, but the pictures do not lie. See where the trash is.

If you want to see all 80 photos in the set, click this colored text. I took a picture of Every problem area and area in question. See for yourself.

I don’t see why politicians who are making proposals don’t lead a walk through the area, taking pictures, discussing with common residents the problems. Who are they consulting with? Are those eccentrics that speak up the only ones who are heard?

Take a look at what the trash is. Taking this tour HAS changed my feelings about one issue: the Bigger Better Bottle Bill. In the past, I thought this was another idiot tax. It might be, but also it will eliminate tons of trash and trash space. Non-carbonated beverages are so popular now that half of these trash cans are filled with plastic bottles. The bottles make take up 95 percent air and they collect space in those bins, causing them to overflow. If people saw 5 cents for every bottle, they would clean it up instead of relying on the trash collectors to.

Here’s what I learned:
Trash attracts trash. Similar to graffiti attracting graffiti and broken windows attracting more broken windows. When people see trash piled up, they are likely to throw their own trash on there whether or not there is space – which makes sense. They don’t want to hold it and wait for another one which is probably full also.

The garbage cans are a problem. The street traffic is heavy and the cans are either too small or too few for the amount of people that walk the streets.

The vendors keep their spaces clean when they have free time.

We have a lot of trash to deal with.

What do you make out of these pictures?

Jackson Heights Life discussion board on the topic
Copy of Article from JHBG with the proposed bill
On Queens Crap
Video of Protest


  1. This is a great piece of street-level blog journalism. If we had similar responses to more issues, we could keep politicians and businesses honest (at least partially).

    BTW in the Bottle Bill, does the 5c for un-returned bottles go to the city for tax-payer funded clean-up or does it go to the bottling company for contributing to trash?

  2. i notice every street vendor has their own waste receptacle and most of the refuse is littered around sewer grates, corners where garbage cans might have once been and, of course, undercollected city waste bins.

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