Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute

NYC Parks seeing trash overflow seek solutions

Image shared by Friends of Transmitter Park Facebook page documenting the trash overflow on March 18.

We’ve seen this equation before: Nicer weather + Parks = More picnicking people = More Trash = More Pizza Rats.  COVID-19 enters the equation as those playing it safe at home are utilizing the parks more. Basic laws of physics prove there is only so much trash a trashcan can hold. There are those who think disposing of their trash next to a full receptacle is perfectly fine. It’s only fine if the goal is to increase the rat and roach populations. 

NYC Parks and friend organizations of local parks are requesting park lovers to show their parks some love in return.  “In these difficult times, New York City’s parks are being used more than ever before.  They’re our gathering spaces, our gyms and playgrounds, and our places to relax and reconnect with nature safely. Unfortunately, more park users can mean more litter, and we’re counting on you to help pitch in and remind everyone to show your park some love!” informs a NYC Parks webpage on how to stop litter.  

A simple solution to the garbage overflow problem is to take your trash with you.  Most who have visited a National Park are familiar with “pack it in, pack it out” as a way to safeguard nature by leaving no trace.  NYC parks would benefit from this rule, but the rats, roaches, and flies wouldn’t.

In future this issue can be addressed with larger capacity containers that have lids to keep the vermin out and smell in. However the problem is here and now and the best here and now solution is to take your trash with you.

And what’s with the poop on the street?

Many in the community have noticed a rise in dog poop on sidewalks since COVID-19 entered the scene. Theories to the cause lean toward dog owners being afraid to touch a public garbage can, newbie pup owners not understanding “curb your dog” protocol, etc. Yes, I think there could have been a clearer phrase than “curb your dog”. In a casual survey, I did notice more dog poop on sidewalks that didn’t have a public garbage can. In any event, the same solution as the above applies here too: good neighbors properly dispose of their dog’s poop, even if that means carrying it home.

Not only are you protecting the bottom of a neighbor’s shoes from getting spoiled, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency you are keeping New York’s waterways cleaner. And NO it is not fertilizer. Don’t let your dog do its business in a tree bed.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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