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Stringer: ‘Bureaucratic Meddling’ To Blame For Lower Manhattan Garbage Pileup

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer blames lack of garbage cleanup along West Side Highway on bureaucratic red tape. (credit: CBS 2)

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer blames lack of garbage cleanup along West Side Highway on bureaucratic red tape. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Officials are talking trash along the West Side Highway.

Garbage is piling up, weeds are spreading and people are now wondering who will take responsibility for the cleanup.

It’s like driving through a garbage chute. The medians that divide the West Side Highway are being choked with trash from 59th Street to Battery Park City.

“People are just discarding their trash haphazardly – unfortunately,” one New Yorker told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.

Greenery meant to beautify is dying and weeds are growing out of control. In Battery Park City, CBS 2′s Aiello even spotted a weed that was taller than him.

Community Board 1 recently complained, “The State of New York spent millions creating beautiful highway dividers… garbage is not being picked up…shrubs are dying…there must be a plan to maintain them at reasonable cost.”

“What’s happening is the state won’t deal with it, the city won’t deal with it and the people in the community have to bear the burden of more garbage,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said.

Stringer pointed out the highway is something of a hybrid. The state is building it and the city will eventually own it and a joint state-city group controls the park that runs beside it.

The trash piled up after a state-funded cleaning contract expired and it took months to negotiate who would be responsible for what going forward.

“This is what our constituents hate, this over bureaucratic meddling when the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” Stringer said.

On Tuesday, a few cleanup crews were out. It may have been a sign that community concerns are being heard.

A spokesman said the State Department of Transportation will work more closely with other agencies to keep the highway clean.