Park Slope garbage pile so notorious it has dedicated Twitter account

Brooklyn Paper
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Call it a trash-tag.

A Park Slope school has been cultivating a permanent pile of garbage on its Fourth Street sidewalk for several years, and the mound of rubbish has become so notorious, there is now a Twitter account dedicated to documenting the sight — not to mention the smell.

“It stinks,” said the 25-year Park Slope resident behind the Twitter handle Park Slope Pile, who spoke with the paper on the condition of anonymity. “It gets so big, cars run over bags blown off the pile.”

The social media watchdog posts regular photos of the pile outside the John Jay Educational Campus at Seventh Avenue — which houses the Secondary School for Law, the Secondary School for Journalism, Park Slope Collegiate, and Millennium Brooklyn High School — where janitors toss their detritus directly onto the street, according to locals.

The waste is usually dumped in plastic garbage bags, but often doesn’t stay that way, according to one guy who lives directly across from the heap — the bags frequently rip open, covering the road in litter and sending streams of liquid “goo” flowing past the curb, he said.

“Sometimes it’s food, and sometimes it’s flowing down the street as a bunch of mixed up goo,” said Stuart.

The school is allowed to leave bags of trash on the pavement on Tuesday and Friday evenings in anticipation of pickups the following day, said a Department of Sanitation spokeswoman. But neighbors say the putrid pyramid is basically perennial, and typically returns as quickly as it is hauled away.

The pile is so persistent, it is also memorialized in other online mediums — the scrap heap is visible in every Google Street View photo at the address dating back to 2007.

Google Street View, 2007–2015

Neighbors claim complaints to the schools, 311, and other city agencies have not made a difference.

One community leader says he worked with education and sanitation officials two years ago to find an appropriate place for a dumpster outside the campus after fielding numerous complaints about the mound. But they couldn’t locate enough space for a trash receptacle, and so the pavement pile remains.

“There just isn’t room for it,” said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman.

The situation is starting to smell like a double standard, say neighbors — if a home or store dealt with their trash the same way, the sanitation department would lay down the law.

“It shouldn’t be there just because it’s a school,” said Pete Colgan, who lives nearby on Fifth Street, and attended John Jay in the 1950s. “If it was me, or anybody else, we’d get a ticket.”

A Department of Education spokeswoman said only that it would dedicate extra training, support, and resources to the schools’ custodial staff, and that the agency would work with sanitation to address the neighborhood’s concerns.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Neal from Work in Slope says:
Why don't they put the dumpster in the street. Plenty of room. Trash is there already.
Jan. 21, 2016, 7:58 am
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
I'm not sure I ever understood the issue here. At every school, at the end of the day, the janitors bring out the garbage for collection. Has something happened to the pick ups at this location? I don't see the same problems anywhere else.

Mixson should come on Brooklyn Paper Radio and explain this.
Jan. 21, 2016, 10:13 am
Not Goish from Prospect Heights says:
A 24/7 trash pile goes against every NYC Sanitation rule. Why is NYC Schools exempt? Kickbacks to the building engineers aka custodians' union?
Jan. 21, 2016, 10:42 am
brooklyred from gowanus says:
Same with PS 133 on Butler - residents have complained to school and sanitation with no results
Jan. 21, 2016, 11:10 am
VLM from Park Slope says:
'“There just isn’t room for it,” said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman.'

Because we refuse to sacrifice a precious free parking space or two in the name of sanitation! Heaven forbid!
Jan. 21, 2016, 12:27 pm
jimmy from Flatbush says:
Why do I have a feeling those bags are loaded with disposable... everything? And any recycling to be seen? I wonder when the last time they washed a plate or tray instead of just heaping it on the street. What happened to PlaNYC and reducing the city's footprint and all that?
Jan. 21, 2016, 2:02 pm
Concerned Citizen from Park Slope says:
There is room for a Dumpster somewhere on the property. Probably in the head custodian's parking space! Other schools nearby like MS-51 have Dumpsters. Why not here?
Jan. 21, 2016, 3:30 pm
da editah says:
Street View slideshow! Brilliant!
Jan. 21, 2016, 5:56 pm
Joe from Burg says:
Styrofoam future.
Jan. 21, 2016, 11:48 pm
Concerned Park Sloper from Park Slope says:
Our car was stuck behind the garbage truck picking up the trash at John Jay. It was disgusting to see that they don't separate out any of the recyclables from the trash. Someone should be held accountable for this.
Jan. 24, 2016, 6:58 pm

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