NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s a dump dilemma as trash piles up in one Queens neighborhood.
Residents say they are tired of it and they’re calling out one of the country’s largest railroad companies for failing to clean up its tracks.
As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, wet, soggy garbage litters the train tracks in Woodside, Queens. It’s a pile of problems for residents who live along the railway that’s run by CSX Transportation.
“I’m seeing tires, I’m seeing cigarettes, I’m seeing dishes, hangers, clothing, food,” resident Nancy Corrao said. “My granddaughter and I kind of made a joke – you could actually go shopping in there.”
Corrao has lived in the neighborhood for five decades. She says it used to be a beautiful valley but in the last five years, people have been treating the area like their personal dumping ground.
“Homeowners, like whoever lives in the apartments nearby, I think they tend to throw their garbage over there sometimes,” said one woman.
“People are throwing the garbage,” a man added.
The property is owned by CSX – one of the country’s major railroads. A spokesperson told CBS2 it’s working on a cleanup plan, then sent a statement with no details or timeline.
Residents, however, don’t want to wait. They’ve called 311 to complain, as well as reached out to their local city councilman, who says he’s well aware of the problem but the fenced-in area is beyond the City Council’s control.
“Here, where it’s a private company and private property, it’s impossible for the city to even get in there,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told Duddridge.
Neighbors are now adding rodents to their list of complaints, saying the animals are running rampant.
“We don’t now want the rats and mice and whatever seeping into our homes and apartments,” said Corrao.
The New York City Department of Sanitation says its cleaning unit inspected the area last month. It says CSX has been notified and has seven to 10 days to either clean up or sanitation crews will at the company’s expense.
There’s still one more hurdle – the sanitation department can’t clean up the property until a judge grants crews a warrant to enter the grounds.