NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Recycling is taking over some city sidewalks, leaving some Upper West Side residents disgusted.

Piles of trash have been blocking sidewalks in the Manhattan neighborhood, as residents wait for a much-needed pickup. Pedestrians and their canine companions are getting the squeeze.

“Frankly, it’s disgusting and it’s attracting rats,” one resident told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Joseph Bolanos, president of the West 76th Street Block Association, said the trash should have been picked up Monday, the first business day after New Year’s.

“About 65 percent of the buildings on the Upper West Side are brownstones and they simply can’t hold more than four to five days of recyclable garbage – especially the week after Christmas,” Bolanos said.

Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said the department changed the holiday pick-up schedule this year and did collections on Dec. 28 and 29.

“Any time you have a double holiday it’s very challenging,” Garcia said. “Normally what we do is that we collect on the second holiday and not the first.”

Garcia said the changes in the holiday schedule were highly publicized.

“We put out press releases. We were trying to get much better with social media, but clearly, the message didn’t get out to everyone,” Garcia said.

Garcia said recyclables will all be picked up on Friday, as scheduled.

Earlier on Thursday, Garcia was in Staten Island, working on another, more appetizing recycling initiative.

Garcia, City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo and Myles Cohen, president of Pratt Industries’ Recycling division gathered at Goodfellas Pizzeria on Victory Boulevard to debut new, limited-edition ‘Made In Staten Island’ pizza boxes — made completely out of locally recycled paper.

The boxes are made from 100 percent recycled paper from Pratt Industries’ mill in Travis, and will be used by pizzerias across the borough. The box features a black and white ‘Made in Staten Island’ logo, over a drawing of the Verrazano Bridge.

According to a statement released by the Department of Sanitation, the boxes were designed to help promote the environmental and economic benefits of recycling in the city.

“It saves on the environment, it saves on having to import boxes from somewhere, it saves on us having to export paper from somewhere else,” Garcia told 1010 WINS. “So there’s a huge amount of environmental benefit to having this sort of facility in our community.”

The pizza boxes will be available to customers starting this week.


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