Waste warriors: Locals clean Bensonhurst streets

Brooklyn Daily
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They turned out to take the trash out.

More than 70 volunteers collected about two dozen bags of garbage along 86th Street and Bay Parkway during a community clean-up on May 23.

Lazy locals appear to have created the lion’s share of the litter, one worker said.

“It was a lot of litter from people walking by — candy wrappers, empty bottles, cigarette butts,” said Priscilla Consolo.

The debris-busting Bensonhursters cleaned 86th Street between 14th and 25th avenues and Bay Parkway between 73rd Street and Cropsey Avenue, she said. Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) and Assemblyman Bill Cotlon (D–Bensonhurst) organized the clean-up, and the Department of Sanitation provided volunteers with tools, gloves, and trash bags, according to Consolo, a Colton staffer.

Most of the volunteers were students at area high schools who received community service credit for their efforts, she said.

Colton has hosted 16 such clean-ups since 2011. The first was a community service project Consolo spearheaded as a student at Midwood High School, she said.

Residents of Bensonhurst have long complained that litter and household garbage are choking their streets — particularly commercial corridors such as 86th Street and 18th Avenue.

To help stem the tide of trash, volunteers also handed out anti-litter literature with sanitation department rules as part of Colton and Treyger’s ongoing “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” campaign to both pick up trash and raise awareness about the neighborhood’s litter problem.

But they only gave the pamphlets to folks who seemed genuinely interested, Consolo said, so the leaflets wouldn’t become litter themselves.

“We didn’t want to make more of a mess, so we didn’t hand them out to everybody,” she said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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