Condoms, needles litter W. Seventh Street

The Brooklyn Paper
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Gravesend residents say that hypodermic needles, condoms and other disgusting trash is piling up in front of two shuttered W. Seventh Street storefronts in what has become a chronic, out-of-control problem.

“There’s always garbage everywhere and nobody seems to [care],” said Albert Vicinanza, who lives down the block from the grime scene. “Residents have tried to pick it up before, but it just keeps coming back.”

Vicinanza and his neighbors say that the garbage near Avenue T kicked into high gear last year, around the time that Jane’s Nails and The Wrong Number bar shut down. Business and property owners are responsible for keeping their adjacent sidewalks clean, according to city law, so the corner turned into a dumping ground once the merchants left the block.

City records did not list contact information for the building owners.

“It’s as if people are dumping their garbage there everyday, all the time,” said Fern Guarnaccia, who lives across the street from the mess. “I don’t even want to look outside of my home because it’s disgusting.”

When the Courier visited the Southern Brooklyn block last Tuesday evening, we saw empty bottles, broken glass and plastic bags in front of the former nails salon. Next to the now-closed bar, we saw a staircase with a heap of trash several feet high. We didn’t see any of the syringes or condoms that the residents reported, though Vicinanza warned us that they could be hidden within the debris — which we wisely refused to sift through.

Residents say that they have called city numerous times about the problem, but the Sanitation Department spokesman Matthew LiPani told the Courier that the agency hasn’t received any complaints about that location. He did not confirm if the city sent any inspectors to check out the site.

Brooklynites have been talking a ton of trash in recent months — even after the snow that stalled collection for weeks melted. Bay Ridge residents said that the city is lying when it claims it is picking up garbage from public trash cans six times a week, and the proof is in the overflowing bins. And in Manhattan Beach, one resident said that the city didn’t pick up her trash for more than a month.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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