BY LYNN EDMONDS
Flushing’s trash issue has proved to have such traction that state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) used it as a jumping off point to announce endorsements for her re-election campaign and integrated the issue into her campaign platform.
Stavisky sandwiched endorsements from Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Peter Tu, executive director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association with her three-point plan to address garbage in Flushing.
Commercial and residential garbage in Flushing has been an ongoing concern that grew more urgent when the Queens Tribune published photos and articles detailing excessive commercial trash on 40th Road and other locations in May. Most recently, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), the Flushing BID, the Flushing Chamber of Commerce, Crown Sanitation and local business owners targeted the Prince Street triangle for a clean up effort in attempts to stop dumping, thought to come from nearby residences without adequate trash storage facilities, on the site.
Gathering with reporters on the Prince Street triangle, Stavisky outlined her plan, which involved handing out flyers and posting signage in English, Chinese and Korean, hiring another sanitation inspector for Community Board 7 and hosting a roundtable with business owners and other stakeholders to discuss best practices to address the issue.
“The garbage situation, the place to put the garbage both commercial and residential, has been a problem. It’s getting better, but we’re certainly not there yet, there’s a lot left to be done,” Stavisky said.
The senator also stressed her continued involvement in keeping Flushing clean through helping found the Flushing BID, and allocation of funds for graffiti removal and power-washing programs.
During the course of research, the state senator found that CB 7, by far the largest in Queens, has only two sanitation inspectors.
“Two sanitation inspectors are not enough. We’ve got to have additional inspectors not just for 11354 ZIP but for the 11355 zip because it goes beyond the borders of the Flushing BID,” Stavisky said.
Stavisky stressed that all signage must be tailored to residents of Flushing.
“We have to make sure that everybody understands what the rules are,” Stavisky said. “For the sanitation department to put a sign in English is insufficient. We’ve got to have it in the language of the people who live here and work here as well as English.”
The senator added that she wanted to see a roundtable that brought for all stakeholders. She said she didn’t want to see business owners blamed exclusively for the garbage issue.
“Sometimes the refuse is not the result of the commercial enterprises, the businesses, the restaurants and so on. Sometimes its tourists, sometimes it’s the people who live here,” she said.
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400 x127, email@example.com or @Ellinoamerikana