2015-04-15 / Features

Sanitation Department's Iggy Terranova Comes To Dutch Kills Civic Association

By Thomas Cogan
The Dutch Kills Civic Association welcomed Iggy Terranova, public affairs representative for the Department of Sanitation, to its April meeting.  He had been invited to the March meeting but had to postpone the appearance.  The postponement might only have made many in the audience more eager to wait for him so they could make their complaints.  Though they were waiting, he was ready for them.  He went over the revised New York state rules for disposing of electronic equipment and had a helpful hint about getting rid of leftover paint.  The first gripe he had to handle was about automobiles abandoned or parked on sidewalks.  A companion complaint about the ineffectiveness of 311 soon followed.  Another speaker had a good word for the breast cancer organization, SHAREing and CAREing, and there was last minute information about voting on the Participatory Budget.

Terranova began by informing the group that all hard plastics are now recyclable, so the plastic caps can at last be disposed of with the plastic bottles.  The edict forbidding electronic equipment—computers, printers and televisions,  several other items—to be placed at the curbside for normal pick-up is quite serious and fines will be issued to those who try to defy the ban.  When disposing such equipment, it can probably be returned to stores that sell electronic equipment and household appliances.  P.C. Richards and Best Buy come to mind; Terranova said that if one buys a new television set at Best Buy and has it delivered, the store will take the old one away.  The state that handed down the rules for disposal was asked if it could supply fleets of trucks to help consumers dump their old stuff, Terranova said, but it replied it would be too large an operation and if consumers could take the trouble to buy such stuff they should take the trouble to get rid of it according to law.

Consumers have to check on rules pertaining to many products, disposal of which might be regulated.  For instance, he said, paint cans containing residue paint can bring fines on those disposing them.  Terranova said that wet paint at the bottom of a can be absorbed with—cat litter, which consumes paint to produce hard, dry pebbles that are easily thrown out.  He then said that one familiar disposal station, the clothing bin, is actually illegal.  Sanitation regularly posts notices on bins, informing owners that they have a month to remove them or have them removed by the department, with fines to follow.  Until recently, the owners of those bins could show up just before the month had expired and move them a short distance away, gaining another month.  Now, he said, the bins can be tagged and removed immediately.  When asked if the bins serve a purpose, Terranova said that they are no service to the public or the poor but a means for the owners to take the discarded clothing, clean it off and resell it.

The meeting’s noise level was increased when George Stamatiades, Community Board 1 and DKCA official, said that Sanitation was lax in its duty to remove abandoned automobiles and those parked on sidewalks by car dealers and repairmen.  Terranova replied that Sanitation can cite them but it is up to the Police Department to remove them.  Stamatiades was furious about getting back-and-forth excuses from the police and Sanitation while abandoned cars, lacking license plates,

continue to be big-time litter on the streets; but for his part, Terranova held firm about where responsibility lies.  When he recommended calling 311to call attention to situations that Sanitation is truly responsible for alleviating, cries of scorn again arose from those who said that outlet just doesn’t work.  One person, Steve Morena, countered that by saying that he has had excellent responses to his 311 calls about sanitation matters.  Terranova said the department must respond to 311 notices within 48 hours. 

To complaints about the excess of signs on the streets Terranova answered that he agreed but that Sanitation has been doing a good job removing the ones it may remove.  “Signs don’t work,” he said, because people love to defy them.  Finally, though winter seems to be over, snow removal news remains interesting.  For next winter, Terranova said, snow removal will be conducted by sectors, not by classification of primary, secondary and tertiary roads.  He believes the result will be more complete snow removal.

Ed Babor, chief aide to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, had what he called a personal message about CAREing and SHAREing, the cancer group formed and still based in Astoria.  He said it is a better funder for cancer care and research than larger groups are because a higher percentage of its funds actually go to the cause of reducing cancer.  That led him to mention the fund-raiser to be held at the restaurant, Manducatis Rustica, 46-35 Vernon Boulevard, Wednesday, April 15, 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $75 in advance, $90 at the door.

Amanda Nasner, from City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office, has promoted the Participatory Voting elections tirelessly and was at the meeting to do it again, on the verge of the elections themselves, which run from April 11 to April 19, at several sites in both Van Bramer’s 26th District and Costas Constantinides’s 22nd District.  In Van Bramer’s district, there are 27 items up for a vote, and voters are allowed to choose any three.




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