Garbage issue plagues Elmira street

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Jessica Garrett, a homeowner on W. Gray Street in Elmira, has been dealing with a neighbor whose trash has blown onto her yard for years now.

One of her neighbors opted out of getting their trash picked up by the city. The homeowner does not live in the state and rents the property to tenants.

Garrett said the neighbor uses a private garbage pickup, but they have stopped paying for the service.

“I noticed over the years that he stopped the pickups,” said Garrett. “They weren’t coming. Then, the tenants moved in and someone put the cans out and they piled the garbage on.”

After having the trash sit there for over a month at times, she tried to figure out a solution.

“I worked with a couple of people in the city at the code enforcement,” said Garrett. “So, I called them and started trying to find out what’s the hierarchy. What do I do to get this cleaned up? Because someone has to pick up that garbage.”

The issue of rodents and bugs added another level of frustration.

“I am deathly afraid of rodents,” said Garrett. “I’m not living with rodents. Yes, the city came out maybe twice and picked the garbage up. So, that was good and they even took the cans off of the road. But, I believe that is because I started talking with my Councilman Brent Stermer.”

Brent Stermer, 2nd District Councilman for the City of Elmira, said there needs to be more accountability.

“The issue is when people opt out of the trash removal, there is not a follow up,” said Stermer. “What happens is they stop paying that private hauler, then the trash sits on the curb for an amount of time that is not acceptable. I really feel we have to develop a system by which there are higher fines for people who opt out and then have a lapse in their sanitation fees.”

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