NEIGHBORS CAN DUMPER
Litterer Fined After Community Pitches In
Homeowners on Mazeau Street contacted the Sanitation Department and police at about 6:30 p.m. last Wednesday after observing one man and his assistant, who were offloading styrofoam and wooden pallets from a truck onto a site located off the intersection of Mazeau Street and 57th Drive.
According to local residents and activists, the location has allegedly been used by its owner to illegally dump construction debris and other material for many years. Reportedly, in some cases, neighbors observed workers burying trash in holes dug on the site.
After the two men arrived at the Mazeau Street property and attempted to offload debris, neighbors banded together and stood in the driveway leading to the lot to prevent the vehicles from leaving the scene, said civic activist Christina Wilkinson.
“We wouldn’t let one truck through,” said Maspeth resident Linda Daquaro, who recounted the scene on Mazeau Street last Wednesday.
The Sanitation Department was contacted a short time later, and members of its police unit responded to the scene. Matt Lipani, a spokesperson for the DSNY, told the Times Newsweekly that the driver of the truck involved—identified as Youzhang Lin of Eldridge Street in Manhattan—was issued a summons for dumping 12 to 15 cubic yards of debris.
Sanitation police officers also seized the truck, which is registered to Lan N. Son Trading Inc. of Brooklyn.
Lin faces a maximum fine of $2,000 for the offense, which may be challenged in Environmental Control Board court, Lipani added.
Wilkinson noted that illegal dumping on the site has been an ongoing problem. Residents repeatedly attempted to inform the property owner of the problem through signs placed on the property as well as a petition circulated among and signed by neighbors.
Despite repeated attempts to get city officials to act on the situation previously, she told this paper in a phone interview, no enforcement action was taken. Under city law, Sanitation police officers must observe a violation occurring in progress in order to issue a summons.
Daquaro noted that she and other neighbors have repeatedly called elected officials seeking action to compel the property owner to clean up the site, which has become a haven for rodents and other wildlife.
“We just want the back lot cleaned up,” she said. “We understand that he (the owner) owns it, but he needs to maintain it.”