NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two Manhattan restaurants that suffered a setback together say the city needs to get a handle on the trash situation.
In an emotional video posted to Instagram, the co-owner of Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery shared the sour start to her day. Debbie Weiner arrived to find a mess in front of her Rivington Street business.
“It was disgusting. Everything that you could think of that was garbage, from recyclables to shoes and towels and eggs and meats. It was just everywhere,” Weiner told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.
The mess was caused around 3 a.m. Surveillance cameras captured a man for more than an hour pulling garbage bags to the outdoor dining space, rummaging through, walking away with bags but leaving the rest for Weiner to find.
“As a business owner, we’re responsible for our storefronts. I knew that that garbage was not my garbage. I have a private carting company,” Weiner said.
The garbage added insult to injury for the small sweet shop trying to survive the pandemic.
“It really was like a sucker punch of everything else that we’ve had to contend with since this started,” Weiner said.
With help, she packed the garbage back into bags and called the Department of Sanitation. She waited hours for its arrival as the bags sat piled up alongside the outdoor dining set-up shared with restaurant Essex.
“We were both here late last night trying to fix this place up, make sure everything is compliant for indoor dining, make sure everything is beautiful inside … and then you come back in the morning, you see this,” said David Perlman, co-owner of Essex.
The business owners are focused on the big picture — cleaning up the city.
“The trickle-down effect of what’s been happening in this city,” Weiner said.
“The city should just be more responsive to business needs,” Perlman said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says if the city can’t do it, the state will step in and take out the trash.
“I have offered to send in the National Guard,” the governor said. “I think that would be important, this is a public health pandemic.”
CBS2 followed up with the Department of Sanitation regarding this specific issue. It says response time in certain situations may be affected due to recent budget cuts. A crew arrived before 10 p.m. Wednesday to pick up the trash. It says it will continue to monitor the area over the next few days in case it happens again.
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.