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Harlem community demands change after Sanitation Department removes corner trash cans

Harlem residents frustrated that trash cans have been removed from neighborhood sidewalks attended an emergency meeting at Community Board 10 filled with elected officials and neighborhood association leaders. They demanded answers from the NY Department of Sanitation.

As PIX11 first reported last week, the DSNY has removed corner trash cans from many streets in Central Harlem.

“We went after the most abused litter baskets in the entire city,"DSNY Community Affairs Coordinator Iggy Tarranova said. “We’ve got to educate everybody to stop bringing their garbage to the corner whether there’s a can there or not.”

By abused,  he means the illegal dumping of household garbage in those baskets. His answer didn't satisfy NYS Assemblywoman Inez Perkins.

“You’re not going to educate anybody by removing the garbage cans," she said.

Tarranova said the DSNY will not return all the cans, but offered a compromise.

“Give me the blocks you really want me to look at, where you really believe we should put a can back,” Tarranova said.

He said he’d check out those blocks, but did not promise that any cans would be returned.

As PIX11 reported, the absence of cans has resulted in garbage being dumped on the streets, in front of residents’ homes and in the Parks Department cans in the community square at West 136th street and Edgecombe Avenue.

Those cans are now overflowing with household garbage and has resulted in a rat problem.

Tarranova also said that if the City Councilpersons in the area gave their $220,000 discretionary funds allowance to DSNY, they'd work with the council members to see if they want more service and baskets.

However, those at the meeting said they should not have to buy back trash baskets already paid for with their tax dollars.  Tarranova said he’d discuss the communities’ concerns with DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, and report back to the community board.  We’ll keep you posted.

If you’ve got a story for Arnold Diaz, send an email to whatashame@pix11.com or contact him on Facebook or Twitter.