BOROUGH PARK — Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Borough Park/Midwood) has brokered an agreement between city Department of Sanitation officials and residents of 51st Street that will allow for the continuation of trash collection from the rear alley behind the homes, an arrangement the residents have enjoyed for nearly 100 years due to the unusually narrow sidewalks on 51st Street.
For decades, about 60 houses, three apartment buildings and one large yeshiva on 51st Street between 19th and 20th avenues in Borough Park have used the rear alley for residential trash and recycling collection. City trash crews historically have accommodated this arrangement, which is necessary due to the extremely narrow sidewalks and pedestrian access along 51st Street. This setup helped keep the sidewalks clear and litter free and reduced the amount of sanitation trucks on local streets, which is a major issue in traffic-choked Borough Park.
However, earlier this year sanitation officials informed residents with little warning that they would no longer allow residents to place their trash in the rear alley. The residents immediately reached out to Greenfield who stepped in to try and broker a deal. Greenfield arranged for a series of meetings involving sanitation officials and residents. Eventually, the city agreed that the rear-alley collection can continue as long as several conditions are met, including that potholes are filled in and low-hanging tree limbs are trimmed.
“To tell you the truth, we didn’t think there was anything that we could do to stop this from happening. But we knew that our best shot was by going to Councilman David Greenfield. We can’t thank the councilman enough. He really did everything in his power to help us — a small block in Borough Park. Thanks to him our streets will stay clean for years to come,” said resident Moishe Friedlander.
“I’m grateful that the good-faith efforts of all sides reached a reasonable agreement that have paid off for the hundreds of residents of 51st Street. We were able to work through the valid concerns of the Sanitation department to reach a deal that is literally win-win for both the residents and the Department of Sanitation. This agreement to continue utilizing the trash pickup in the alley will help maintain a high quality of life along these blocks,” said Greenfield.
Homeowners have been working in recent weeks to ensure the alley is safe and accessible for Department of Sanitation crews, including hiring a contractor to repair the pavement. A walk-through was conducted last Friday to check on the progress of the repairs. At that meeting, the Department of Sanitation agreed to continue the rear-yard pickup and to review the situation every year.