For many years, both Richard Bove and Joseph Ippolito have been victims of drive-by littering.
From empty beer cans to used condoms, the Staten Island homeowners have found just about everything on their property, and even though it has been an inconvenience, they have both done their best to clean up the discarded trash just about every time they spot it.
In recent weeks, both Bove and Ippolito have found a little more than just last night’s trash on their doorsteps — both have been presented with summonses from the Department of Sanitation for litter that had been either thrown or had blown onto their lawns.
“Why must I have to stand in front of a judge, when those who are irresponsible and have no manners, go on their merry way, throwing their trash wherever they see fit,” said Bove, 69, of Tompkins Avenue in Rosebank.
“My wife and I are out cleaning the property daily, and the Sanitation officer comes at around 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. How do you expect people to clean their property, when they haven’t even woken up yet?”
According to the Department of Sanitation, under the Enforcement Routing Program, agents patrol all areas, including commercial, industrial, manufacturing and residential blocks at specified times, focusing on violations for dirty sidewalks and dirty areas in front of or adjacent to the residential premises.
The residential routing times citywide are from 8 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 6:59 p.m. Fines range from $100 to $300, depending on the number of offenses the property owner has received in a calendar year.
“The kids from the nearby high school, often have no regard for anyone’s home. They throw trash all over my lawn, they leave things like coffee cups, candy wrappers and even drug paraphernalia in front of my house. It is not a pleasant sight,” said Joseph Ippolito of Mill Road, New Dorp.
“Another contributor to all the trash that winds up on my property is from the empty lot on New Dorp Lane, which often goes uncleaned, regardless of how many times my neighbors and I call 311 for assistance.”
Both Bove and Ippolito are due in front of a judge at the Environmental Control Board at 350 Marks Pl., Tompkinsville, in March. Both intend to fight their respective charges, citing that on the days of their violations, the weather had been windy, causing a large amount of debris to blow onto their property.
Bove saved the weather forecast from the Advance for the week of the summons, which indicated that there were wind gusts up to 30 mph, and hopes it will help him to either have the ECB’s decision overturned or to at least reduce the fine.
Representatives at the Department of Sanitation stated that if anyone has had a problem with litter blown onto their property from an unattended lot or field, to please contact 311, and request assistance, so the DSNY can send a clean-up crew to the site, for upkeep and maintenance.