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Astoria Residents Call On City To Add Garbage Pickup As Trash Piles Up

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Residents in one of the most booming areas of Queens have complained that their community is overwhelmed with garbage.

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, Astoria residents said fewer trash pickups have parts of the neighborhood teeming with litter.

“Garbage everywhere! It’s really bad,” resident Martha Garvey said.

“It comes up like a cyclone. It all masses together,” resident Amanda Rothman added.

Trash can often be seen strewn across sidewalks, piled up and toppling over garbage cans on the street in the heart of Astoria, Burrell reported.

“We used to have three pickups a day here in Astoria. We are down to one,” New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, who represents the area, said.

Simotas said city budget cuts are behind the piled up trash.

For months, she and other lawmakers have collected photos from angry residents to demonstrate to the city that once-daily pickups from sanitation crews are not enough.

“It’s from midnight until 8 a.m. They don’t pick up during the day,” Simotas told Burrell.

A survey of some garbage cans around midday Friday found overflowing bins with hours to go before the next scheduled pickup, Burrell reported.

“It’s a very commercial area, so a lot of people standing around. Plus the subway, they throw stuff down from there, too,” resident Jack Bertorelli said.

“It’s always garbagey and I called and they didn’t give me much of an answer,” Garvey said.

A spokesperson from the Sanitation Department said they’re working on the issue.

“Mayor de Blasio received a letter from Astoria elected officials concerning overflowing litter baskets and requesting additional pickups,” the statement read. “The Mayor has asked the Sanitation Department to look into their concerns.”

With a growing number of restaurants in the area, residents fear their next problem will be rodents.

Several elected officials representing Queens are asking that an additional pickup be added between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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